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Maui Food Hub Now Accepting SNAP and Pandemic EBT Customers

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    Sun Fresh/Maui Hub packing staff

    Sun Fresh/Maui Hub staff pack food. Photo courtesy of Maui Hub.

    Maui Hub

    Maui Hub personnel prepare orders. Photo coutesy of Maui Hub

    Maui Hub

    Maui Hub prepare orders. (L-R): Ryan Earhardt, Okoa Farms, Lisa Willey, Maui Hub Volunteer, Angel Vai, Maui Hub Staff. Photo courtesy of Maui Hub

    Nonprofit Maui Hub now will accept online orders from customers enrolled in the US Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Pandemic EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) program.

    Maui Hub was established in April in response to the shuttering of local restaurants and businesses. Maui Hub’s mission is to make local, healthy, fresh produce and products affordable and accessible to low income families, and to provide produce to nonprofit organizations. While doing this, Maui Hub is restructuring local supply lines that pay Maui farmer/producers fair prices and pass on minimum markup to customers who wish to shop without the hassle and exposure of public markets.

    Since its inception, Maui Hub has purchased more than $120,000 in product from Maui Farmers and value-added producers to fulfill more than 3,000 orders.

    “COVID-19 really brought home the necessity of locally grown food,” Maui Hub President John Dobovan said. “It is essential that we support farmers and ensure that everyone in our community has access to delicious, nutritious locally grown food. Maui Hub was founded specifically to address these needs by connecting our local farmers with the community.”

    The online store is open from noon on Saturday through Tuesday night at 11 pm for the following Saturday pickup. Local farmers/producers are issued a “pick list” on Wednesday so they know how much to harvest.

    Farmers deliver the freshly harvested produce to Maui Hub partner Sun Fresh, where it’s sorted, packed and loaded into refrigerated trucks for Saturday delivery to 5 pickup sites in Central Maui (UHMC), Kihei (behind Ace Hardware). Upcountry (Kulamalu), Lahaina (Choice Health Bar) and Haiku (next to Jaws Country Store).  Check out www.MauiHub,org to learn more or to shop.

    Maui Hub has applied to the USDA to be a retailer in the “Double Up Food Bucks” program, which we expect to make available to our SNAP customers in November. Under that program, SNAP customers will enjoy 50 percent off local fruits, vegetables and eggs.

    Future services will expand to include home delivery, complete family meals/recipes-in-a-box and more.

    Original source: https://mauinow.com/2020/10/17/maui-food-hub-now-accepting-snap-and-pandemic-ebt-customers/

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