Kaukau four Keiki Partnership gives wholesome consuming meals to youngsters in rural areas

The USDA’s Summer Food Services program is helping make the new Kaukau 4 Keiki partnership fun to provide healthy food to children in rural Hawaii.

The new partnership, Kaukau 4 Keiki, will provide healthy food for children in rural Hawaii this summer.

In rural communities with postcodes beginning with “967”, breakfast and lunch menus are provided weekly for children under 18 years of age. The weekly meal packages will be available from June 7th for Oahu and June 14th for the neighboring islands. The program runs until July 31st.

“In some areas, it is difficult for children to come to school for a single take-away meal during the summer months,” said Hawaii’s first lady Dawn Amano-Ige. “Through Kaukau 4 Keiki, many groups have come together to meet this need and I would like to thank all partners.”

The Kaukau 4 Keiki coalition of government, private, and community groups includes: Food Access Coordinators on O’ahu, Kaua’i, Maui, and Island of Hawaii, Hawai’i Child Nutrition Program, Kahumana Food Hub & Organic Farms ( Oʻahu), Mālama Kaua’i (Kaua’i), No Kid Hungry, USDA Summer Food Services Program, Vibrant Hawaiʻi (Hawaiʻi Island) and Hawaiʻi Foodservice Alliance.

“We knew we had to do this for our keiki,” said Dexter Kishida, food security and sustainability program manager for the city and county of Honolulu. “Every child should have access to healthy, nutritious food all year round, and transportation can be a real barrier to that in the summer.”

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Sharlene Wong, program administrator for the Hawai’i Child Nutrition Program (HCNP), said the flexibility offered by the USDA’s exemptions allows the use of existing resources, including the federally funded, government-administered Summer Food Service Program, the the program operator reimbursed the children and teenagers by serving free healthy meals and snacks.

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Families can register online at www.kaukau4keiki.org for a meal box for their Keiki, or call 2-1-1 if they don’t have internet access. Funding is very limited and applications are granted on a first come, first served basis.

The families are contacted by community organizations. On the specified date, the organizations deliver a box with fresh vegetables, fruit, meat and cereals or offer specified collection times.

Meal packages will vary from island to island as program hosts will make every effort to support local farmers, ranchers, and food producers with the USDA program’s grocery shopping dollars.

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In addition to Kaukau 4 Keiki, the Department of Education’s Summer Meals Program started today for children aged 18 and younger, regardless of their schooling status. A list of participating schools can be found here for more information.

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