DA BUS Mobile Market and Food Pantry Project is a three-year initiative funded by a USDA Community Food Project grant award, to address food insecurity and health disparities on Hawaiʿi Island, particularly in the 12 USDA designated low income/low access areas, known as “Food Deserts”.
The project goals are:
- To improve access to affordable healthy food among low-income residents
- Build target area community involvement in addressing food security
- Support local agricultural development
- Improve healthy eating and reduce health disparities in chronic diseases
- Strengthen linkages between agricultural, entrepreneurial, health, and human service sectors to create a secure local food economy
To achieve these goals the project has developed DA BUS Mobile Market and Food Pantry which is providing access to affordable locally-grown produce, emergency staple food items, seeds, and garden starts to low-income residents on Hawaiʿi Island.
DA BUS Project is also integrating:
- Outreach education on cooking, nutrition and gardening
- Providing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP - formerly known as ‘food stamps’) outreach materials and application assistance.
DA BUS currently visits designated community gathering sites in low-income/low-access rural areas including senior centers, low-income housing complexes, and County Park and Recreation centers scheduled in conjunction with The Food Basket’s (Hawai`i Island’s Food Bank) Commodity Supplemental Food Program “Kupuna Pantry” which serves low income Seniors island-wide.
Our project partners include:
- The Kohala Center
- Blue Zones Hawaii
- KTA Super Stores
- Hawaii Island farmers
- Hawaii Department of Health SNAP-Ed
- County of Hawaii
- Hawaii Island Food Alliance (HIFA)
DA BUS Project directly addresses the needs of low-income individuals with limited access to healthy food in several ways:
- Through a long-term solution to food distribution
- Increasing community self-reliance and encouraging healthy lifestyle development through gardening and cooking instruction and demonstrations
- Increasing the economic viability of the local food economy by supporting local farmers and grocers
DA BUS project started in January 2018. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org