‘Aina Ho‘okupu O Kilauea brings food to the community

  • Laurel Smith/The Garden Island

    Kula Aupuni Ni‘ihau A Kahelelani Aloha Public Charter School students add recipes to the food bags. I am really happy that we are doing this because we get to bring healthy food out into the community,” said eighth grader Amy Dominguez (left).

  • Laurel Smith/The Garden Island

    Students at Kula Aupuni Ni‘ihau A Kahelelani Aloha Public Charter School in Kekaha unload 100 bags into their school’s cafeteria. Students and teachers distribute bags bi-weekly to kupuna and other community members in need.

  • Laurel Smith/The Garden Island

    Maluhia L’Hote load up a refrigerated truck for delivery to Kekaha on Sept. 24. “The logistics of (delivering fresh produce) is very difficult because you need refrigeration and we have a shelf life from just a few hours,” said ‘Aina Ho‘okupu O Kilauea Executive Director Yoshito L’Hote. “There’s a lot of challenges that come with incorporating fresh food, but that’s what (people) need the most.”

  • Laurel Smith / The Garden Island

    ‘Aina Ho‘okupu O Kilauea Execuive Director Yoshito L’Hote helps fill 200 bags with corn harvested earlier in the week. “Here on Kaua‘i, nobody should go hungry, and this is ultimately our goal,” said L’Hote.

  • Laurel Smith / The Garden Island

    Kela Wood load up freshly washed bags of arugula to be placed in refrigeration overnight. The greens will be packaged into smaller bags and distributed to 200 people in need.

  • Laurel Smith / The Garden Island

    Rochel Balualua loads up mangos grown in Kekaha on Sept. 24 to be distributed in the next week’s fresh food bags by ‘Aina Ho‘okupu O Kilauea.

  • Laurel Smith / The Garden Island

    Blemished and yellow arugula leaves are removed by hand.

  • Laurel Smith / The Garden Island

    Kalei Waipa pours freshly cut arugula into a cleaning bath. After the greens are cleaned and dried, the produce will be bagged and refrigerated until distribution.

  • Laurel Smith / The Garden Island

    ‘Aina Ho‘okupu O Kilauea Executive Director Yoshito L’Hote prepares the land for planting. Of AHK’s 75 acres, about 15 are currently being farmed.

  • Laurel Smith / The Garden Island

    ‘Aina Ho‘okupu O Kilauea Farm workers harvest kale on Sept. 23 to be added into 200 bags of produce to be distributed to kupunas and other people in need. The bags are delivered weekly across the island.

KILAUEA — In March of 2020 Kaua‘i farmers had a big problem: while farms continued to produce, pandemic restrictions shut down farmers markets, and suddenly, farmers had no way to distribute their produce.

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