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Mayor announces grants to support farmers, food security, workforce development

School Garden at Kīhei Elementary, established by Grow Some Good. File photo by Kiaora Bohlool.

Three County of Maui grants totaling $155,000 have been awarded to three nonprofits to support farmers, food security, workforce development and diversified agriculture, according to an announcement from Maui Mayor Michael Victorino and the Office of Economic Development.

“These grant awards to Grow Some Good, Common Ground Collective and Maui Food Technology Center help provide local farmers and residents with markets for their produce and much-needed fresh, locally grown produce for our residents,” Mayor Victorino said. “This is a win-win for our community. It helps us on the road to recovery and keeps dollars circulating here in our community.”

Grow Some Good has received a $100,000 grant for its Maui School Garden Network, Farm to School Program. Grow Some Food volunteers connect Maui Nui keiki with their food, environment and culture with garden-based educational experiences. The program’s aim is to grow a resilient, diversified and healthy agricultural workforce in Maui County.

“A revitalized agriculture industry will be central to Maui County’s future diversified economy,” Mayor Victorino said. “This program is creating our next generation of farmers, chefs and scientists.”

Common Ground Collective has been awarded a $30,000 grant for its Maui Foster Farm Project. The nonprofit harvests food from residents’ yards and distributes the produce to local nonprofits to feed residents in need or sells to local businesses to reduce our reliance on imported food. 

“We should be creative and look for resources in overlooked places, like our own back yards,” Mayor Victorino said. “Last year, Common Ground Collective harvested and distributed over 42,000 pounds of produce that otherwise would have become food waste.”

Maui Food Technology Center has received a $25,000 grant for its Maui Sunday Market project. This is a weekly event showcasing Maui County vendors, food trucks, farmers, food purveyors and others.

Crowds gathered at the Maui Sunday Market pre-COVID-19. Picture by: Maui Food Technology Center

For more information about grants, visit the Office of Economic Development website at https://www.mauicounty.gov/141/Office-Of-Economic-Development or call the office at (808) 270-7710.

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2022/04/01/mayor-announces-grants-to-support-farmers-food-security-workforce-development/

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