Wahiawa, Hawaii – The Wahiawa Farmers’ Market will officially start accepting EBT cards to purchase fresh, locally-raised fruits and vegetables on Thursday, September 13, 2012.

Besides the great array of fruits and vegetables, the market also sells fresh local eggs. All the fresh produce at this market is 100% local, coming from farms located in Wahiawa and the North Shore. From exotic banana flowers and bamboo shoots to sweet corn and hydroponic Manoa lettuce, the selection has broad appeal for the multi-ethnic community in the area.

The market also features local-style prepared foods from Wahiawa establishments such as Marian’s Catering and Marilou’s Filipino Restaurant. You can also find value-added products like Wahiawa’s Honda Tofu, and when available, lilikoi jelly and poi from the Leilehua High School Agricultural Learning Center.

The market is organized by the Wahiawa Community Based Development Organization (WCBDO), which is partnering with the GreenWheel Food Hub to bring in the EBT service. Kaiser Permanente and Kanu Hawaii have joined GreenWheel to help to cover start-up cost.

“We are grateful to be partnering with GreenWheel Food Hub and Kaiser Permanente to introduce EBT access at Wahiawa Farmers’ Market, said James Koshiba, Executive Director of Kanu Hawaii. “It’s part of a ‘feeding food deserts’ project to increase access and affordability of fresh, healthy, and locally grown foods to all Oahu communities.”

The Wahiawa farmers’ market is the first of five Oahu markets that the GreenWheel Food Hub will be working with over the next year to accept EBT benefits and study the effect on the markets, as part of a project which received funding from the Hawaii Community Foundation’s Island Innovation Fund.

“We are looking forward to seeing how EBT access can transform local farmers’ markets, increasing access to locally grown foods for all communities, while providing a new source of income for local farmers, “ says Lisa Asagi, co-founder of GreenWheel Food Hub. “We hope to see a real change in Hawaii’s local food system by providing this link between local communities and local farmers to support each other.”

“Wahiawa is still a small town and in this day and age, we need to find ways to take care of everyone,” said Libby Smithe, WCBDO farmers’ market committee chairperson. “Having EBT access at our market will benefit the whole community.”

The market is located at the Wahiawa Hongwanji, 1067 California Avenue. It is open every Thursday evening from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. For more information, call Libby Smithe at 621-7097.

 

Submitted by GreenWheel Food Hub

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