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Maui RSVP dining promotion to support eight Maui non-profits

By Staff | May 26, 2016

The Maui School Garden Network and Grow Some Good teach students how to grow their own food, connect them to their food sources and inspire better nutrition choices.

KAANAPALI – Award-winning Chef Paris Nabavi has launched a new semiannual dining promotion called Maui RSVP (Restaurants Support Vital Programs) to raise money for eight Maui non-profits that focus on youth in agriculture, arts, education and wellness.

For a ten-day period from May 27 to June 5, 2016, participating restaurants will each offer a 50 percent discount on selected entrees from 5 to 8 p.m.

Businesses and individuals, as well as food industry partners such as distributors and wholesalers, may join the program at levels ranging from $1,000 to $1,500, with their contributions donated directly to the Nabavi Legacy Fund, with 60 percent to Grants Central Station for annual distribution, 25 percent for endowment and 15 percent for ongoing, annual marketing, administration and grant management by Grants Central Station.

Maui RSVP will run again from Sept. 23 to Oct. 2, 2016.

Chef Nabavi would like to get many restaurants and food industry partners to participate. Currently, the early participants include Cane & Canoe at Montage Kapalua Bay; Joey’s Kitchen at Whalers Village; Oceanside at the Maalaea Harbor Shops; Pulehu, an Italian Grill; Sangrita Grill & Cantina; Taverna in Kapalua Resort; The Mill House at Maui Tropical Plantation; and Three’s Bar & Grill.

Beneficiaries of the Nabavi Legacy Fund are Book Trust, Grow Some Good, Imua Family Services, Kids Cook/Teens Cook with Heart, Maui Academy of Performing Arts, Maui Culinary Academy, Maui Food Innovation Center, and Maui School Garden Network.

The fund, managed by Grant Central Station, will be distributed to the beneficiaries annually.

“I believe supporting these eight organizations is truly vital to the Maui community,” Chef Nabavi said. “They share a common thread in that they each provide unique services and opportunities to our children, who are the future of our island. Whether it’s nutrition and cooking, education, arts or support services, these groups are dedicated to enhancing lives and empowering Maui’s youth for generations to come.”

For West Maui Chef and Restaurateur Nabavi, this legacy is a dream project.

In his restaurants, and in his life, Nabavi always promotes the use of locally sourced, organic ingredients.

Having dealt with his own health challenges, Nabavi understands the vital importance of nurturing our bodies with “real” food, rather than processed alternatives.

His mission is to change the way that children eat through education and engagement in healthy eating habits, starting with their early experiences in school programs.

That’s why Chef Nabavi and his wife, Donna, have personally supported Maui School Garden Network in sponsoring their organic seed needs and teaching students how to grow their own food in sustainable school gardens, and Grow Some Good in its efforts to create hands-on, outdoor learning experiences that connect students to their food sources and inspire better nutrition choices.

Now, through the broader reach of Maui RSVP, the Nabavi Legacy Fund will benefit a wider range of community programs.

Older students gain inspiration and critical job training through Maui Culinary Academy at the University of Hawaii Maui College. The program prepares students with the skills and knowledge to succeed in hospitality, while continuing to instill the value of thoughtful food preparation.

Imua Family Services provides early childhood development services to children and families, giving them a solid foundation from which to grow.

As keiki progress through school, Book Trust empowers children to choose and own books, inspiring a passion for reading and lifelong learning.

Kids Cook With Heart/Teens Cook With Heart is the first American Heart Association youth program in the nation to integrate hands-on healthy cooking and nutrition with cardiovascular health education. The program aims to decrease child obesity in the U.S.

At Maui Academy of Performing Arts, young people are encouraged to actively express themselves through dance, movement and drama.

The Maui Food Innovation Center seeks to expand Maui’s agricultural industry while creating new businesses by connecting Maui farmers and entrepreneurs to produce new, value-added products.

By helping all of these non-profits to educate and nourish Maui’s children, Chef Nabavi hopes to bring healthy eating, sustainable growing practices and pure enjoyment back into the way we eat, starting with Maui’s future: our keiki.

The Maui RSVP program is being marketed through a $20,000 grant made by the Makana Aloha Foundation, through promotions that encourage residents and visitors to take advantage of biannual Maui RSVP dining options.

Media organizations Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine, Pacific Media Group, Paradise Television and Edible Hawaiian Islands have agreed to promote the program through advertising, PSAs and social media. All of the participants – restaurants, food, beverage industry partners, wholesalers, individuals, etc. – will be mentioned in these media outlets.

To participate or donate to Maui RSVP, contact Charlene Ka’uhane at Charlene@KauhaneInc.com. For more information, visit MAUI RSVP on Facebook and Instagram.