March 30, 2020


Local farmers face business challenges while community safety measures grow increasingly stringent, and Hawai‘i’s agricultural industry is fighting to survive in market conditions that change on a daily basis. The Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation (HAF) is asking the community to support its Disaster Relief Fund to assist local agricultural-based businesses that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Farmers across the state are feeling the effects of tighter regulations and other changes along the food supply chain with the closure of many restaurants and hotels. With this Disaster Relief Fund, HAF is committed to directly assisting Hawai‘i farmers and the agricultural industry. HAF is accepting community donations at HawaiiAgFoundation.org. For a $50+ donation, HAF will be giving away a “Keep Calm and Kalo On” tank top from Ho‘opulapula Haraguchi Rice Mill & Taro Farm in Hanalei, Kaua‘i to the first 25 donors.

“We’re all navigating uncharted territory together,” said Dean Okimoto, Chairman of the HAF Board. “With regulations and market conditions changing quickly on a daily basis, we need to act fast and come together to support local agriculture and the people who provide us with fresh food grown here so that we can feed our families.”

HAF is also relaunching Local Inside as another channel to directly support the community. As the shelves in the grocery stores go empty, many community members are looking to other options for fresh produce. Formerly a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, Local Inside will now serve as an online platform to connect farmers with the community and vice versa by offering up-to-date information on where to find fresh local products from our farmers, ranchers and fisherman across the state.

A week ago, HAF repositioned its Localicious Hawaii campaign that supports restaurants buying local to a new Food-A-Go-Go campaign to support all restaurants offering takeout, delivery and curbside pickup as COVID-19 safety measures have forced restaurants to close all dining-in operations. So far, the campaign has generated a database of over 800 restaurants and 48,000 visits to the site since last week’s launch. The goal of Food-A-Go-Go is to create broad public awareness of the need to support restaurants which have been severely impacted as social distancing becomes the new normal during the stay-at-home order.

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