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Our Earth Month Message to You: Activities, Resources and Inspiration While You Shelter at Home

April 02, 2020
By: KHF Staff

April is Earth Month and typically the busiest month of the year here at Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation with our work focused on environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawaiʻi. Although all Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation activities for April have been cancelled as we are faced with a new paradigm to physically distance in order to keep our communities safe, we wanted to remind you of the power of community and the natural world.

During this challenging and unexpected time, it’s the energy of the collective community that’s keeping us going. Mahalo to the healthcare workers, first responders, food producers and suppliers, and all of you around the world working incredibly hard for the health and safety of your own communities. Mahalo to those who are taking up new roles in your households or communities to help educate your keiki, comfort your elderly neighbors, or provide relief to those in need. Mahalo, to all of you for playing your own unique part.

This Earth Month in our newsletter, on our blog, and through our social media, we will be sharing activities, resources and inspiration that will help you and your ohana stay connected to nature and wellness, with the hope that we come out a stronger, more resilient community.

Connect with Local Farmers, Chefs & Food Producers

Looking for access to fresh, local produce? Sign-up for a farm box delivery or CSA to support local farmers, and learn how to support sustainable local food systems and reduce your food waste. Check out these online resource lists of farms, co-ops, CSAs, farmers’ markets:

Local restaurants and caterers are working hard to keep their doors open while providing food for their community. Several chefs are rising to the occasion and providing meals for curbside pickup and home delivery... many of these chefs are jumping in to make donated meals for first responders, kūpuna and people in need. Check out what our ‘ĀINA Chef Partners are doing to be food heroes:

  • The Chef Hui, spearheaded by ʻĀINA Chef Mark Noguch and his wife Amanda Corby of the Pili Group/Under My Umbrella have teamed up with Aloha Harvest and the Pacific Gateway Center to rescue and redistribute nearly 14,000 pounds of food from restaurants, hotels, and food distributors to those who need it most. Starting on March 31st the Chef Hui began cooking meals for those in need with fresh produce sourced from local farms. The Chef Hui’s resource list - includes food to-go, delivery and distribution sites, as well as helpful at home resources.
  • Chef Thomas Naylor of Ke Nui Kitchen on the North Shore of Oʻahu launched the Open Kitchen Oʻahu last week to bring locally sourced, family meals to the community and he and his team are also donating meals to first responders, kūpuna and others in need in their area.
  • The Beet Box Cafe is accepting carry-out orders online on their website for their Haleʻiwa cafe 9:00am - 2:00pm Thursday to Sunday.
  • The Cosmic Kitchen housed in Celestial Natural Foods in Haleʻiwa is providing take out phone orders from 10am-4pm, Thursdays to Tuesdays, with 20% off any $20 purchase. Watch for delivery service and Free Soup Sundays starting soon! The Cosmic Kitchen is also looking for farms with extra produce to donate for the soup, and compostable container/utensil donations to serve the soup in.
  • ʻĀINA Chef Susan Prior of The Country Eatery and Take Away in Kahuku is offering delivery of delicious locally sourced meals and juices.
  • Today is the last day ʻĀINA Chef Matt Young and the Hula Grill team will be offering their phone in order to-go menu with the option of curbside pick up. Breakfast from 7:00am to 11:00am and Dinner from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. 20% discount for Kamaʻāina. Support their Pay It Forward initiative and they will deliver a meal to the Waikīkī Community Center.
  • ʻĀINA Farm Field Trip hosts Kylie and Judah Ho of Kahuku Farms are currently providing their farm fresh produce to the BYUH cafeteria, and have temporarily closed its cafe, but you can still purchase some of their local, homemade favorites via their website or at Farm Link Hawaiʻi.
  • Kaimukī Superette is offering phone order take-away meals prepared by our friends Ed Kenney and Dave Caldiero. Open Tuesday-Saturday 9:00am-2:00pm for lunch, and for dinner hours are 4:30pm-7:00pm (last order 6:45pm).
  • ‘ĀINA Chefs Tiffanie Masutani and Chris Okuhara and the team at La Tour Cafe are offering take out at their Iwilei location.
  • ʻĀINA Chef Lemont Brown from Maya’s Tapas and Wine is open for take-out Monday-Saturday, 12:00pm-9:00pm with a 20% discount on all orders.
  • ʻĀINA Chef Kathy Maddox from Mohala Farms can be found selling their locally grown produce at the Waialua Farmers’ Market every Saturday, 8:30am-12:00pm and has partnered with the North Shore Food Bank to deliver meals to seniors.

Learn at Home with KHF Resources for Keiki

Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation has lots of great resources to keep your keiki engaged at home including curriculum, lesson plans, recipes, how-to's and much much more!

More Resources & At Home Activities for Health & Wellness from our Partners

Plant a Garden - Plant a backyard garden or container garden if you have limited space. Big Green’s Plant a Seed Day initiative has gathered ideas for family planting activities and Cornell University Extension has gathered a variety of relevant lesson plans and curricula. The Hawaiʻi Seed Growers Network and Fukuda Seed Company are good resources of local and climate adapted seeds you can get by mail. You can also plant dry beans from your pantry, leftover chunks of potatoes and sweet potatoes, and the cores of head vegetables like cabbage to get your garden started with supplies you may already have. A garden planted now can teach valuable lifelong lessons.

Cook With Kids - ChopChop makes cooking fun for all ages. Explore a new recipe using seasonal, local produce, or cook up a Common Threads family meal. Slow Food Live is sharing free, online sessions on cooking and gardening. Download a free copy of the Farm to Keiki book with tons of cooking and gardening activities created especially for younger keiki but adaptable for all ages. Food Corps has also shared a collection of fun and healthy cooking activities you can do together.

Get Creative - Make a creative reuse art project with ideas from Art Explorium. An especially useful and timely DIY is making your own hand sanitizer. Here’s a video tutorial--be sure to use 91% isopropyl alcohol so your final product has a high enough alcohol content. Get inspired to turn “waste” into art by checking out Explore Ecology’s Art From Scrap Pinterest page! They have an extensive collection of DIY art projects that utilize common household items and objects that are typically thrown away.

Connect With Nature and Learn About the Natural World - The great outdoors brings a wealth of physical and mental health benefits, as well as opportunities for learning and social-emotional growth.

Support Your Local Feeding Programs & Food Bank

Food banks and school feeding programs across the state are mobilizing to meet the increased needs of our community. You can volunteer or support your local food bank and others who are working to distribute emergency food boxes as businesses and school districts close. These are the organizations we know of who are helping to provide meals to those in need in Hawaiʻi:

Seeking Support, Sharing Support

  • Aloha United Way 211: By dialing 2-1-1, you can get help finding food, shelter, drug treatment, childcare, job training and much more. The 211 service is available Monday - Friday 7:00am - 5:00pm.
  • Crisis Support Hotline: The Hawai‘i Department of Health’s Crisis Line supports those experiencing stress. Call 1-800-753-6879 or text the word “ALOHA” to 741741 for support.
  • Donate to the Hawaiʻi Resilience Fund to support health and community resilience in Hawaiʻi.
  • Help teachers get key resources to students at home with the DonorsChoose.org Keep Kids Learning fund.
  • For more ways to volunteer, check out virtual opportunities or post your volunteer needs with Kanu Hawaiʻi or Hawaiʻi Help is on the Way, a free delivery service for kūpuna & others in need.