Hawaii Rise Foundation continues its efforts with its “Together We Can” campaign and has partnered with OK Farms and other local farmers to create Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes for the elderly. Nearly 85% of the food consumed in Hawai’i is shipped in from the mainland. Sourcing food locally limits the island’s dependence on outsourcing.
The “Together We Can” campaign is named in honor of Hawaiʻi County’s former mayor Billy Kenoi. His message stressed the importance of cherishing our kūpuna and reciprocating the care and effort they have put into the keiki (children) of the community. Especially in the midst of this pandemic, when things are so uncertain, now is the time to provide for Hawaiian elders in any way possible. Billy Kenoi was a true leader and inspiration to his community; this project has been dedicated in his memory.
Together We Can was formed by Breeani Sumera-Lee, Executive Director of Hawaii Rise Foundation, and Kea Keolanui, Executive Director of Hawaii Eco. Their mission is to liberate the community through sustainability. By supporting local farms, they honor the land and how it provides for their community. Giving back to their elders who have raised and nurtured the future generations of Hawaiʻi. It is Hawaiʻi Rise Foundation’s vision to impact the community by strengthening people’s connection to the land and to each other. Together we serve, together we rise. Both organizations aim to have the broadest impact by utilizing every resource available to them.
In partnership with over 24 local farmsteads such as OK Farms, Kawamata Farms, and Mother Natureʻs Miracle, this initiative has managed to garner produce for their community-supported agriculture (CSA) boxes. These boxes contain a variety of seasonal fruits, freshly grown vegetables, nuts, coffee, starches, other healthy food items, and have provided over 600 meals to the community thus far. Boxes are distributed every other week at no cost to the program recipients. One kupuna shared: “The hearts of those who make these boxes are full of love, and I thank them for loving us enough to do this for us. We are all blessed because of them and I love to see the new generation rise up.”
Founded by local businesses and community leaders, Hawaii Rise Foundation is a nonprofit organization created to help Hawaii’s vulnerable and low-income families, children, and the elderly.