“Same Canoe Local Food Challenge” Launches Next Week

Nutritious, flavorful Hawai‘i-grown food is in the spotlight during the “Same Canoe Local Food Challenge,” an ongoing project of One Island, a Big Island 501c3 nonprofit. The Same Canoe campaign launches at two Local Food Celebrations this month: Sept. 13 at South Kona Green Market, and Sept. 19 at Hawi Farmers’ Market. Bringing together island food products and food-lovers with nutrition experts to share the practical wisdom of supporting sustainable agriculture, these interactive and flavorful food events will be fun and educational for all ages.

Photo courtesy One Island

Photo courtesy One Island

The Same Canoe local food initiative encourages Hawai‘i residents to “Double It” by purchasing, growing and requesting local-grown foods when dining out. The name “Same Canoe” pays tribute to Hawai‘i’s original canoe crops, plants brought to the islands by Polynesian voyagers, and holds the lesson of the empowerment achieved when paddling together cooperatively. All in the ‘same canoe’ is also a potent reminder of our mutual interdependence as an island community and as members of the global community.

EBT/SNAP Benefits

With a commitment to build sustainable communities, Same Canoe is hosting innovative community action projects with film night, workshops and farm tour events. Current efforts include a pilot project that also provides matching local food coupons to 600 EBT/SNAP households in specific rural communities through sponsorship from the USDA.

For each $30 in grocery receipts showing EBT purchases of fresh produce, pre-enrolled households can receive a one-to-one match in local food coupons that will be redeemable at approved local food vendors, culinary and gardening classes, and farm tours for up to $120 in value. Signups are available for a limited time at the farmers’ market in Hawi, South Kona Green Market in Captain Cook and North Kona’s Sunset Market.

Local Food Coupon Book

Same Canoe is also producing a new Local Food Coupon Book offering dining, gardening and wellness discounts for any island resident or visitor. A rewarding new way to buy more local and save on food, health and gardening costs this fall, the Coupon Book is a fundraiser for local school gardens and food, ag and wellness organizations. Savings include local grocery stores, cafes, restaurants, gift stores, wellness practitioners, farm/garden centers and farm tour discounts. The book will be available at the Farmers’ Markets and through local groups (Learn more at the Local Food Celebrations.)

Many voices support local foods

The September 13 and 19 Local Food Celebration launch parties invite the public to enjoy local foods and meet the farmers who provide them, listen to great music, and learn from Hawai‘i Island’s food, wellness and agriculture leaders.

At South Kona Green Market on the 13th music will be by the Hawaiian trio Mauka Soul, and presenters include Councilwoman Maile David, Ken Love of Hawai‘i Tropical Fruit Growers, Sonia Martinez, cookbook author, Dr. Corinne de Soto, ND, and representatives from Adaptations CSA and the Ho‘opomaika’i Community Health Initiative.

In Hawi on the 19th, Councilwoman Margaret Wille, Chef Stephen Rouelle of Under the Bodhi Tree, Slow Foods, Dr. Hana Roberts, ND, Sonia Martinez cook and author, and representatives from Lokahi Garden Sanctuary are among the presenters, with music provided by David Gomes.

The Island’s Food Basket is also a participant at both events and will feature their Da Box community supported agriculture (CSA) produce subscription box being delivered island wide. The many voices of food and wellness presenters demonstrate how local foods strengthen our community, personal health, and families’ overall well-being.

“Choosing local food, I get the freshest flavors and optimal nutritional value available, with the fewest miles on it,” said Maureen Data of Adaptations farm and food hub in Kona. “I know my farmer and the farm’s methods and location, and sometimes the family being raised there. I realize that every dollar that I spend locally returns 3 times more money to our island economy.”

“Local food production is vital to the North Kohala community,” said Lokahi Garden Sanctuary owner Richard Liebmann. “North Kohala historically has been providing healthy clean food to its community for many generations. Today more than ever local food production can play a pivotal role in connecting people, and providing healthy food choices.”

“Food tastes so much better when you know the person who grew your vegetables or raised your meat or fed the chickens who laid your eggs. The food is fresher because it hasn’t been shipped here in a container and you’ll be supporting our local economy rather than huge corporations somewhere thousands of miles away.” said Clare Bobo, President of Slow Food Hawai‘i, a food advocacy group that will participate in the Local Food Celebrations.

The Local Food Celebrations Sept. 13 and 19 welcome the entire community and people of all ages to come and enjoy the music, buy farmer-direct, sit down for tasty breakfast or lunch selections, take home a locally crafted food, and learn more about the Same Canoe Local Food Challenge and the many values offered through the new Local Food Coupon Book.

For more information on the Same Canoe Local Food Challenge, see www.oneisland.org.