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Nourish Our Keiki

Food 4 Keiki Programs

Hunger deprives our keiki of more than just food. It’s a simple fact: a child’s chance for a bright tomorrow starts with getting enough food to eat today.

In Hawaii, 1 in 4 keiki may not know where they will get their next meal. For nearly 90,000 keiki in Hawaii, getting the energy they need to learn and grow can be a daily challenge. Feeding keiki who are facing hunger is about more than simply giving them food. It’s about providing nourishment, wellness and strength. That’s why Hawaii Foodbank has developed Food 4 Keiki – a group of programs that aims to provide nutritious food to improve our keiki’s health and well-being.

These programs include our School Pantry initiative and Feeding Our Future, a summer lunch program.

Food 4 Keiki School Pantry Program

The negative effects of hunger on academic performance have been well documented for years. Well-nourished, food-secure students have higher rates for cognitive activity, school attendance and academic achievements. Providing growing minds and bodies with well-balanced foundations naturally leads to higher education, qualifications, capacity, experience, and a greater learning potential.

To help, Hawaii Foodbank launched the Food 4 Keiki School Pantry program. The program serves as a critical food resource for young students, their siblings and their families. The School Pantries provide after-school snacks for young students, as well as additional family food bags to take home. Bags are filled with canned proteins, canned meals, dry goods, snacks and more.

Food 4 Keiki School Pantry

Food 4 Keiki School Pantry

Program Development on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i

Program Development on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i

In May 2018, Hawaii Foodbank's first-ever School Pantry was installed at Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School. Since then, we have opened 18 School Pantries on O‘ahu: Blanche Pope Elementary School, Ka‘ala Elementary School, Ka‘ewai Elementary School, Kahuku High and Intermediate School, Kalihi Elementary School, Kamaile Academy, Kipapa Elementary School, Linapuni Elementary School, Ma‘ili Elementary School, Nānākuli High and Intermediate School, Princess Ka‘iulani Elementary School, Pu‘uhale Elementary School, Wahiawa Elementary School, Wai‘anae Elementary School, Wai‘anae High School School, Wai‘anae Intermediate, Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate School, and Waipahu Elementary School.

In 2020, Hawaii Foodbank Kaua‘i launched its own School Pantry initiative and now serves at eight locations: ‘Ele‘ele Elementary School, Kanuikapono Public Charter School, Kapa‘a Elementary School, Kaua‘i High School, Kekaha Elementary School, Kilauea Elementary School, Koloa Elementary School and Waimea High School.

In addition to our regular School Pantry model, we’ve also launched additional Keiki Pantries to help reach students in other areas. Locations include the Kalihi YMCA Teen Center and Hoa ‘Āina O Mākaha on O‘ahu and Kawaikini New Century Public Charter School on Kaua‘i. While not located on Hawaii State Department of Education school grounds, these sites are still actively providing nourishment to hundreds more students on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i.

School Pantry Times and Locations

Food 4 Keiki
School Pantries

Due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our regular School Pantry sites are temporarily unavailable.

However, with the help of food partner agency Wai‘anae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, the following School Pantries sites are currently available and offering “Grab & Go” distributions:

  • Hoa ‘Āina O Mākaha

  • Kamaile Academy

  • Wai‘anae Elementary School

  • Helelua Street (across from Pu‘u Heleakala Recreation Center)

  • Kaupuni Neighborhood Park

  • Nānāikapono Elementary School

  • Queen Lili‘uokalani Children’s Center

Feeding Our Future – Summer Lunch Program

For most kids, summer is the best part of the year. But, for thousands of keiki across Hawaii, summer means no more lunch. When school is out, these keiki lose their most reliable, consistent source of food. But, that doesn’t mean they have to go hungry.

Feeding Our Future is a summer lunch program that helps provide nourishment to students who may normally rely on school-provided meals during the school year. Hot lunches are distributed by our food partner agencies, including  Catholic Charities Hawaii, Institute for Human Services, Princess Ka‘iulani Elementary, Mutual Housing Associaiton of Hawai‘i, and the Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii.

Feeding Our Future

Questions About Food 4 Keiki?

For more information on Food 4 Keiki and its programs, please contact  Marielle Terbio, director of community engagement and advocacy, at marielle@hawaiifoodbank.org or 808-954-7869.

Interested in starting a School Pantry in your area?

Hawaii Foodbank works with schools interested in hosting their own School Pantry and offers consultation regarding space and equipment. Hawaii Foodbank staff also works with the school’s existing nonprofit partners and helps build the community network to support the supply and management of this program.

If interested, please email marielle@hawaiifoodbank.org or call 808-954-7869.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

For more information, please read the complete USDA/DES Non-Discrimination Statement

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