MEDIA RELEASE: The Food Basket Awarded USDA FINI Grant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 16, 2017

The Food Basket Awarded USDA FINI Grant

Grant funds will support healthy food access for low income Hawai`i Island residents

Hawai`i Island – The Food Basket, Inc. – Hawai`i Island’s Food Bank has been awarded a four-year United States Department of Agriculture Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant totaling $500,000.

The grant will allow the implementation of “Da Bux,” a new program which will support the purchase of Hawai`i grown fresh fruit and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through incentives at the point of purchase.

Through the initiative, The Food Basket will work towards further addressing food insecurity and health disparities by providing SNAP recipients with an affordable way of obtaining nutritious, Hawai`i-grown produce.

“We’ve been given an opportunity to do exciting work here on Hawai`i Island that will lead the State,” said En Young, Executive Director of The Food Basket. “Da Bux will expand our ability to assist local farmers and get people connected to the kinds of foods they deserve, while also modeling a food system that is accessible and equitable to all.”

The Food Basket will roll out the program over the next several months in partnership with KTA Super Stores, its own community-supported agriculture program, Ho`olaha Ka Hua “Da Box”, and at designated SNAP eligible farmer’s markets.

“We have always wanted people to eat local, and now we’re going to make it even easier,” said Toby Taniguchi, President and Chief Operating Officer of KTA Super Stores. “For many decades, KTA has worked hard to support local farmers and entrepreneurs through the promotion of local goods.

“In this new partnership with The Food Basket, we are committed to a new level of community through the expansion of local produce availability to our SNAP customers through the Da Bux incentivized program.”

The Food Basket has enlisted the help of the Fair Food Network (FFN), a group with experience in implementing incentive programs nationwide, to ensure a smooth start to the program. FFN will share its expertise in increasing consumption of healthy local food and also the support of local growers in other jurisdictions.

The Food Basket Mission: The mission of The Food Basket is to end hunger in Hawai`i County.

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