Happy Thanksgiving to all the loyal readers of The Molokai News!
Yesterday we ate our fill, shared our blessings and expressed our gratitude for life’s bountiful gifts. So today it would seem appropriate to offer an update on what Sust ‘āina ble Molokai is now doing to improve our island’s food security.
The local non-profit group was born out of the “Sustainable Molokai: Future of a Hawaiian Island” conference held in July 2009. Malia Akutagawa, who organized the conference, was also instrumental in creating this group.
The local group’s mission is to, “create sustainable solutions for Molokai by incorporating the past with technology and community while working towards, food security, energy independence,
and economic resilience.”
Following this mission, Sust ‘āina ble Molokai has created the Molokai School Garden Network and Community Permaculture Farm, which are now part of the national pilot project FoodCorps. With the assistance of two FoodCorps members, Lacey Phifer and Simon Mendes, the project has established active programs at Molokai Middle School and Maunaloa Elementary.
At these two school, the program has installed garden beds, created vermiculture projects, taught classes on nutrition, and even made kale smoothies!
“We are amazed to see all this fantastic work on behalf of the FoodCorps members, students, and teachers,” wrote Emillia Noordhoek, executive director of Sust ‘āina ble Molokai.
To help continue to fund these programs, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Inc. has chosen us to participate in their venture Aloha for Charities. Donations received between Dec. 1, 2013 and Jan. 12, 2014 will allow FoodCorps members to expand school garden and permaculture farm programs to every school on the Island.
To donate, go to the Aloha For Charities website, friendsofhawaii.org, and select Sust ‘ainable Molokai and make your donation. Donations are also accepted at the Sust ‘ainable Molokai website donate page or in person with Emillia Noordhoek.
Those who donate $100 or greater will receive an invitation for two to Sust ‘ainable Molokai’s inaugural Pizza Oven Celebration. Due to a generous donation from Friends of Hawaii Charities, Inc., Sust ‘ainable Molokai has been able to purchase a mobile pizza oven to help enhance its programs and provide children with the opportunity to cook farm to table in a fun and delicious way. The celebration will include locally grown produce and toppings as well as keawe flour-inspired pizza pies.
Financial literacy program underway
Joining the team at Sust ‘ainable Molokai is Jennifer Brown, a recent graduate of the University of Montana. Brown will be in charge of establishing a Youth Financial Literacy program on Molokai over the next year. She will work in association with the mission of Sust ‘āina ble Molokai and Hawaiian Community Assets.
“During my stay in Montana, I was introduced to the concept of sustainability and the importance of local infrastructure,” wrote Brown. “Thus, I was drawn to Sust ‘āina ble Molokai and their programs within the community. I had never been to Molokai or Hawaii. However, I applied and was accepted as an AmeriCorps VISTA representative for the organization.”
“I very much look forward to working with the community and inspiring the next generation towards a sustainable future,” she added.