Mayor Michael Victorino announced the award of three County of Maui grants totaling $545,000 to three nonprofits to support taro farmers, agriculture, youth development, family services and food security in Maui County.
“These grant awards to Maui United Way, the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and BioBamboo Inc., doing business as Food Security Hawaii, represent more progress on our road to recovery,” Mayor Victorino said. “By investing in agriculture, workforce development and indigenous farming we create a stronger local and green economy with living-wage jobs that support residents and their families.”
Maui United Way has received a $360,000 grant for its Maui Foster Farm project, also called Hawaii Taro Farm, LLC: A Proposed Model for Agriculture Development.
“This project helps small family taro farmers build their financial and production capacity to feed residents and create diverse new farm jobs, including agriculturalists and food and soil scientists,” Mayor Victorino said.
The University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources has been awarded a $150,000 grant to assist 32 families from Hana, Lanai and Kula who plant, cultivate, harvest and prepare food from their gardens. The college’s curriculum includes seed saving, composting and other strategies to lower gardening costs and help build self-sufficiency.
“We cannot overlook the great potential of growing, harvesting and selling food from our own back yards,” Mayor Victorino said. “Our residents benefit from the income generated by selling home-grown produce and from eating a healthy plant-rich diet.”
BioBamboo Inc., doing business as Food Security Hawaii, has received a $35,000 grant for its Ohana Gardens project. This initiative supports food security and Hawaiian farming and develops skills for residents to prepare healthy food, compost, save seeds, grow orchards, and save money on food purchases.
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.