Grove Farm distributes $203,000 in flood relief

  • Photo courtesy of the Grove Farm Co.

    The North Shore community celebrates the awarding of flood relief funds by the Grove Farm Company.

  • Photo courtesy of Grove Farm Co.

    Kealia farmers and families celebrate the awarding of flood relief funds by Reiko Matsuyama, sixth from left, of the Grove Farm Company.

  • Photo courtesy of Grove Farm Co.

    Reiko Matsuyama, second from left, front row, of Grove Farm distributes flood relief funds to representatives of Department of Education schools and Kauai Complex Area Superintendent William Arakaki.

PUHI — The Grove Farm Foundation completed the distribution of $203,000 to assist those impacted by the flooding from the record-breaking rains that pelted Kauai in April.

The funds were generated from a fundraiser held on Oahu and coordinated by graphic designer Kurt Osaki, Murphy’s Bar &Grill owner Don Murphy, and Grove Farm CEO Warren Haruki, states a Grove Farm announcement released Thursday afternoon.

“Mahalo to Warren, Kurt, and Murph for helping bring the Aloha Kauai fundraiser to reality and allowing our Oahu neighbors to show their aloha for suffering families on the Garden Island,” said Jan TenBruggencate, a member of the beneficiary allocation committee.

Distribution for the proceeds was done by a community-based committee of Kauai residents, including pastors, educators, and other community leaders who decided who should be the recipients of the cash proceeds.

“We tried to identify impacted residents who were not getting the help they needed from other governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations,” said Pastor Nathan Hanohano, another beneficiary allocation committee member. “Our thank you to Warren Haruki and Grove Farm for making this happen.”

Proceeds were divided into three primary categories of assistance, including students from the impacted areas, farmers who lost crops and equipment, and families who suffered significant damage to their homes and belongings.

Funds were sent to the parts of the island most severely impacted by the April storms, including the North Shore, Anahola, Kealia, Keapana, and Koloa.

During the allocation process, the allocation committee took into account flood victims who had already received significant help from other relief sources, trying to address unmet needs rather than duplicate support.

“The hard-working farmers of Kealia were hit severely by the April floods,” said Adam Asquith of the Kealia Farmer’s Market. “On behalf of all of them, thank you to Grove Farm Foundation, and all of the community donors who contributed to this fund. These grants help get them, and other victims in our community back to something close to normal.”

Residents in Koloa and the Keapana area were allocated $120,000, and $56,000 was distributed to farmers on the North Shore and in Kealia who lost equipment and crops.

Kauai schools, including the Koloa Elementary School, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, the Kapaa Elementary School, Kapaa Middle School, Kapaa High School, Kilauea Elementary School, and the Hanalei Elementary School, received $27,500 to assist students whose families were impacted by the floods. The funds will be used to replace lost school supplies, replace school wear, and for programs that include natural disaster training.

“We are extremely gratified to help our neighbors in need,” Haruki said.

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