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Home Local News The Kohala Center’s Full Calabash Fund launches to aid Hawai‘i’s struggling families and food producers

The Kohala Center’s Full Calabash Fund launches to aid Hawai‘i’s struggling families and food producers

by Thunda
Full Calabash Fund launches to aid Hawai‘i’s struggling families and food producers

WAIMEA, Hawai‘i Island, Hawai‘i (November 10, 2020)—The Kohala Center today announced the launch of the Full Calabash Fund, a statewide effort to support vulnerable families and food producers most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Initially established with support from The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Full Calabash Fund will provide grants to Hawaiʻi’s community-based organizations that provide food procured from local farmers, ranchers, and food producers to community members in need. The Fund is administered by The Kohala Center, an independent, community-based nonprofit organization based on Hawai‘i Island.

Grants will be awarded to nonprofit organizations and meal preparation services with deep connection to place and their community, and demonstrated experience working with food-insecure communities in Hawai‘i and regional partners to source, prepare, and distribute food. Grantees must dedicate at least half of awarded funds to purchase agricultural products from Hawai‘i-based farmers, ranchers, and food producers. A portion of funds can be used to support general operating expenses and indirect costs. Applications are available online at or by calling The Kohala Center at 808-887-6411. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, December 8, 2020 by 5 p.m. HST.

Intended to bolster immediate and long-term community health and resilience, the program will strategically direct funding to experienced organizations with strong relationships and local networks to ensure that locally produced food is distributed effectively to resource-constrained individuals and families.

“In Hawai‘i, when a ‘umeke or calabash was full, it was a sign of strong relationships, knowledge, and resource abundance held within our communities. The Full Calabash Fund reminds us of the honor that comes from the generous exchanges of gifts, including time, energy, and food. The ways we feed our future are still deeply rooted as we craft elegant solutions that strengthen food security and improve community access to healthy and nutritious food” said Cheryl Ka‘uhane Lupenui, president and CEO of The Kohala Center.

The Center will leverage its experience in operating statewide grant and loan programs to help grantees identify additional resources that further their capacity to deliver critical nutritional assistance in their communities. As a local initiative administered by food system practitioners with deep knowledge and expertise, this initiative will bring resources and technical assistance to local community-based efforts that nourish our community now and into the future.

Donations to the Full Calabash Fund will be accepted through December 31, 2020. For more information about the Fund, to download an application, or to make a donation, please visit The Kohala Center’s website at or contact Nicole Milne at or 808-887-6411.

About The Kohala Center

Founded in the year 2000, The Kohala Center ( is an independent, community-based center focused on research, education, and ‘āina stewardship for healthier ecosystems. By turning ancestral knowledge and research into action, we cultivate conditions that reconnect us with our food, water, place, and people, so that communities in Hawai‘i and around the world can thrive—ecologically, economically, culturally, and socially.

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