The Hana Farmers Market launched in February as a project of the Hana Chapter of the Hawaii Farmers Union United, and was a quick success. But suddenly, the pandemic hit! And after only five weeks we decided to suspend the market out of concern for the safety of our community.
By April we were able to set up an online market for our vendors, and with the support of then Travaasa Hana, using their cold storage and portico area for weekly drive-thru pickup, this was a successful way to support our farmers and get local food our to our community in a safe way.
At the end of June, we relaunched the open market, at its new location in the field below the Hana Ranch Restaurant.
We were very fortunate early in July to partner with Project Hoʻomana for a unique way to distribute food through the County of Maui’s Farm Produce Purchase Program, funded through CARES Act monies. Project Hoʻomana distributed scrip or tickets at each market that shoppers could use to purchase produce and other products like eggs and honey directly from the farmers. This turned out to be a very popular program, and a great way to provide free, fresh local produce for our community. From July through November, over 78,000 worth of products were distributed! That is money that went directly to our local farmers, and food that went directly to our Hana families. We are all very grateful to Mayor Victorino and the County of Maui, the Hawaii Farmers Union United, and Project Hoʻomana for all the hard work and support that went into making this program a wonderful benefit to our community during this challenging time.
The Hana Chapter also received grant funds from Hawaii Community Foundation through the Hawaii Farmers Union Foundation that enabled us to distribute food boxes of fresh products from our local farmers out to families in Keanae, Nahiku, Kipahulu and Kaupo as well as Hana town. In addition, these grant funds also enabled us to purchase a cargo van for the chapter, that we are now use to support the market, distribute food boxes, and do our export of Hana products out to Central Maui and import of products that we bring in to supplement what our local farmers and producers are able to provide.
Recently, as the Hana-Maui Resort has reopened, we have moved our cold storage to the Hana Ranch, and are also partnering with them for our export/import runs, and are very thankful for their support as well.
Shoppers are still able to pre-order online each week at hanafarmersmarket.org, including produce from farms like Okoʻa Farms inn Kula, Maui Breadfruit Company and Naked Cow Dairy to pick up at the market on Fridays.
The market accepts SNAP/EBT payments, both for online orders and at the physical market.
Mahalo nui loa to our all the volunteers, Project Hoʻomana, Hana-Maui Resort, Hana Ranch, and everyone in the community who have helped to make the Hana Farmers Market a great success in it’s first year!
HFUU-Hana Chapter Board and Farmers Market Staff:
Robert Boudreaux, President
Gina Lind, Vice President
Rosie Kearney, Secretary
Scott Crawford, Treasurer
Lehua Park, Director At-Large
Kari Hagedorn, Farmers Market Manager
Katie Zuber, Membership Chair
Clayton Cravalho, Bookkeeper