Pop-Up Farmers Market Brings Fresh Local Produce to Low Income Community

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Ripening breadfruit

BY BARBRA PLEADWELL –  Kanu Hawaii and GreenWheel Food Hub are partnering to create a localized “pop-up” farmers market for residents of Kalani Gardens Apartments in Mililani. The market will be the first to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program through the GreenWheel Grow Bucks Project.

This project is part of Kanu Hawaii’s food desert pilot, supported by the Kaiser Permanente, which focuses on communities with limited access to fresh, healthy, local produce.


“One of the main concerns that surfaced during our ‘Eat Local Challenge’ was that locally grown foods can be inaccessible because of restricted resident mobility, geographic isolation or other factors,” said Kasha Ho, community organizer for Kanu Hawaii. “This project will test the viability of long-term mobile farmers markets to serve the needs of low-income communities on Oahu.”

“The ‘pop-up’ concept was inspired by a new trend with restaurants and stores that spring up to fill a need. This kind of farmers market can be customized to fit the community’s needs,” said Lisa Asagi, cofounder of GreenWheel Food Hub and manager of Honolulu Farmers Market.

The mobile farmers market will make its debut at a free event on Sunday, April 15 from 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Kalani Gardens Apartments (95-081 Kipapa Drive, Mililani, HI 96789). The event will feature local chef demonstrations and produce from Mililani farmers.

“The residents of Kalani Gardens are interested in eating healthy, locally grown foods,” said Jackie Ma, resources coordinator for EAH Housing, “They have trouble finding these foods at affordable prices, and then there are other challenges such as the time and know-how to prepare them. The mobile market will make living a healthier lifestyle feasible for residents.”

Founded in 2007, Kanu Hawaii is a nonprofit organization with a mission to encourage and support environmental, economic and social change. Its 15,000 members make individual commitments as simple as I will take shorter showers or I will buy local. To make a commitment and help grow the movement, go to www.kanuhawaii.org.

GreenWheel Food Hub is a social enterprise with a mission to help Hawaii’s residents, especially those in low-income communities, gain better access to fresh locally grown food. GreenWheel Food Hub is a fiscally-sponsored project of Feed the Hunger Foundation. Join us in creating a vehicle for change! https://www.greenwheelfoodhub.org/

EAH Housing is a nonprofit corporation founded with the belief that attractive affordable housing is the cornerstone to sustainable living communities. Established in 1968, in response to the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., EAH now serves over 20,000 seniors, families, students, people with disabilities, frail elderly and the formerly homeless in California and Hawaii. https://www.eahhousing.org