by Olivia Peterkin - Web Editor, Pacific Business News
As a way to support farmers in Hawaii's North Shore communities amid the coronavirus pandemic, Turtle Bay Resort and Pono Pacific Land Management LLC recently teamed up to launch the COVID-19 Farmer Produce Purchase Assistance Program.
As part of the program, over the next three months, Pono Pacific will coordinate the purchase of produce grown on the farm lands mauka of the Turtle Bay Resort, which will then be donated to North Shore residents and the resort's employees. Some of the harvested produce that Turtle Bay will purchase include papaya, tomatoes and cucumber.
"Turtle Bay Resort is proud to partner with Pono Pacific to keep our local farmers growing on the North Shore, and ensure no community members go hungry during this difficult time," said Jerry Gibson, vice president of Turtle Bay Resort, in a statement.
Pono Pacific manages the 468-acre farm and will facilitate product purchases from each farmer, who can receive up to $2,500 a month in credit earned from produce purchases.
North Shore community members can pick up free produce from Kuilima Farms on April 17, and 24, as part of H3RC's Food Drop Fridays, a weekly food distribution program for families and individuals in need. Food Drop Fridays are held at 12:30p.m. next to the Pupukea Foodland, across from Shark's Cove.
Kahuku La Hui Foundation recently received 400 lbs of cucumbers and 120 lbs of tomatoes fromt he farmers for distribution to residents in Koolauloa.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are still available for purchase at the Kuilima Farms roadside farm stand located across from Kawela Bay, open daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"We are gratefull that Turtle Bay Resort is stepping up in this time of great need to support our Kuilima farmers, who work hard each and every day to put food on the table for Hawaii's families and supply local restaurants," said Chris Lee, vice president of farm operations at Pono Pacific, in a statement. "This support enables our famers to plan and plant for the future, ensuring that Kuilima Farms can continue to grow fresh produce for our island communities for years to come."