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Kaukau 4 Keiki helping Maui families

By Staff | Jul 9, 2021

A recent University of Hawaii study found that nearly half of Hawaii families with children reported struggling to pay for meals as of March 2021, with an estimated 54,700 children facing hunger.

According to Feeding America and the Maui Food Bank, one of every five children is food insecure in Maui County.

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state Department of Education, Kaukau 4 Keiki was created to address the gap in food access for needy students who are unable to access the DOE’s summer Grab and Go Meals distribution sites due to lack of transportation or family/work schedule.

Kaukau 4 Keiki is piloting the program on Maui for students 18 years and younger, and up to age 22 with disabilities, who live in zip codes starting with 967. The program will run through July 30 and provide food for breakfasts and lunches for 600 children on Maui and Lanai.

In addition, Nuestro Futuro Foundation recently donated $80,000 to Maui United Way for The Kaukau 4 Keiki Summer Meals to You Program, which will go toward the purchasing of food, distribution and administration efforts to run the program on Maui and Lanai.

Maui United Way is serving as the fiscal agent along with community support from Mahi Pono, HFUU Hana Chapter, Hawaii Food Service Alliance, Sensei Lanai, and Maui and Hana farmers.

This program not only supports feeding families but also supports local agriculture by utilizing healthy starches like poi and ten pounds of fresh Maui produce. Each box also contains milk, bread and protein delivered by a team of 24 community members.

“In regular times, a program like this would look much different than this. Being able to ensure keiki in need have the food security they need couldn’t have happened without Nuestro Futuro’s added support and trust. Being able to deliver a full week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches means that fewer children will go hungry this summer,” said Nicholas Winfrey, Maui United Way’s president and CPO.

Mahalo to these community-minded partners for providing much-needed food to families this summer.