Same Canoe Local Food Challenge


Same Canoe is hosting a Veggie Rx produce prescription program 2021-23


Participating clinics for enrollment include West Hawaii Community Health, Hamakua-Kohala Health, Mango Medical, Island Heart Care.


Eligible participants have chronic health care challenges, meet low income qualifications, and are interested in Food-as-Medicine food and lifestyle activities. Prescriptions include up to $500 in fresh local produce plus education program support.


Past Same Canoe Program Information is Below


Double Your Local Food Purchases & Meals!

Farmers’ Market, Grocery Store and Restaurant Events promoting LOCAL Foods!

PLUS Food & Nutrition Classes . DIY Workshops . Farm Tours . Farmer/Chef Events

serving South & North Kona, North Kohala and Ka’u thanks to USDA and One Island


Same Canoe Local Food Challenge – Double It!

tangy_pineapple 25


What will Hawaii look like when we reach a 50% local food goal? How will we get there? The Same Canoe Local Food Challenge is a new initiative aimed at encouraging more local food buying choices and purchases island wide. The Local Food Challenge encourages everyone to DOUBLE their local food purchases at farmers’ markets, grocers, restaurants and cafes. Connecting farmers, grocers, farmers’ markets, cafes and food buyers in a proactive Double It! Food Challenge, the initiative brings consumers and food system players together in a unified effort to ‘Grow Local, Buy Local, Eat Local’.


alma 1


All island households, food producers and restaurants are welcome to join the Challenge.


hana 1Enroll online by taking the Local Food Survey. Through the Food Challenge, Island families will get to know their farmers, enjoy fresh and nutritious foods, discover the fun of attending a Farmers’ Market or subscribing to a CSA, and can take food classes and farm tours. Local farmers in turn will be direct beneficiaries of these food purchases with the goal of building demand for locally grown fresh and value added foods that help build our green economy. Challenge stakeholders include: the Kona Chapter of Hawaii Farmers Union United, Local Farmers’ Markets, the Food Basket, Honaunau School, Kohala School, Adaptations, West Hawaii Community Health Center, and One Island, a non-profit program of Heritage Ranch, Inc.




teoTo help reach the Double It! goal, Same Canoe was awarded USDA funding from 2015-2019 to help qualifying households double their fresh and local food purchases. One Island was the first project in Hawaii to be awarded food security funding for a pilot project to help connect low income families and seniors with more fresh and local food and local farms. A second project expanded the scope of the project and introduced the first Veggie Rx trial. In North and West Hawaii, where the USDA-funded pilot project took place, One Island’s Same Canoe project enrolled 1,600 SNAP households that qualified for local food matching coupons.


couponDuring 2015-2019, for each $30 in grocery receipts that a SNAP* household turned in, that showed EBT purchases of fresh produce from any grocer, pre-enrolled households  received a one-to-one match in local food coupons that were redeemable at approved Farmers’ Markets, at participating grocery stores, and  for farm tours and classes. (*Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program – formerly Food Stamps)


Same Canoe has hosted information booths with on-site sign-ups at the South Kona (Sunday), Keauhou Farmers Market (Saturday), Kona Sunset (Wednesday), Hamakua Harvest (Sunday), Waimea Mid-week (Wednesday) and Hawi (Saturday) Farmers’ Market. We’ve also worked with the non-profit Food Basket food bank and retailers including Island Naturals Market, Kohala Grown Market, Takata Store, Choice Mart, Country Market, Adaptations, Big Island Farm Direct, Locavore Store, and Healthways to increase access to fresh, local produce.



The Same Canoe farmers’ market booths highlighted local farm produce, announced upcoming events, and encouraged visitors to complete a food challenge survey that provided a ticket for drawings for discount coupons at local food supporter merchants. Plus we hosted food and nutrition demonstrations right at the market.


The project tested alternate methods for community engagement, providing EBT and Veggie Rx shoppers with the opportunity to enroll for coupons that could be used at a wider variety of venues, including grocery store events and local pandemic-response CSA promotion, in addition to the Farmers’ Market access points.


SNAP households could also use the coupons to enroll in the fresh local food CSA food box programs hosted by the Food Basket’s ‘Da Box’, Adaptations’ ‘Fresh Feast’, Big Island Farm Direct, and Blue Dragon Farm CSA. CSA are Community Supported Agriculture programs that provide pre-sorted boxes with great locally grown foods through a subscription arrangement.


lokahi 2

First, we listened to what Farmers are asking for and heard ‘Bring us MORE customers wanting to purchase fresh Island grown produce that builds the local food system and supports local farmers.’ The Same Canoe initiative was initially a direct result of that request. The Project’s goal is to increase consumer readiness to choose locally grown over imported foods and thereby improve local health and strengthen local farmer income, sustainable agriculture AND island food security.


Second, we learned that a personal or family health crisis was encouraging our participants to re-think how and where they source their food to achieve optimum health benefits. From that listening, the Veggie Rx program pilot emerged as a potential solution.


Local Food Challenge? Definitely something you can enjoy sinking your teeth into!

Food preparation and preservation, nutrition, grow-your-own, wildcrafted foods, local beekeeper and food system partners including health practitioners, Slow Food, Sustainable Kohala, the Food Basket, Adaptations Food Hub, Seed Savers, Kukui Lifestyle Medicine, cookbook authors, and healthy foods chefs have provided complementary education activities at the farmers markets, at local schools, community gardens, and on organic farms.

A big MAHALO to the talented food and health champions who are sharing their gifts with our host communities!

zack sk 25  sunny sea sq 50kristi









Examples of past Classes and Events In North Kohala and South Kona Open to All Ages – Families Welcome
• Learn about the Local Food System
• Expand your Home Garden
• Microgreens and Smoothies
• Take a class at the Farmer’s Market or local School Garden
• Healthy Local Food Ferments
• Fresh Fruit Kombucha
• Go on a fun U-Pick Farm Tour
• Dryland Taro Tour and Taro Burgers
• Raw Veggie Noodle Making
• Farm-to-Fork Dining with Music
• Bokashi and Worms for Composting
• Ono Grinds – Healthy Local Foods
• Grow Your Own Mushrooms
• Aquaponics and Vegan Veggies
• Herbal Teas and Low Acid Coffee
• Recipe Contests
• Forest Garden Permaculture
• Solar Dehydrating and Cooking
• Discounts at local food cafes
• Soil Regeneration Methods
• Make Tempeh, Tofu and Miso
• Learn about Blue Zone longevity
• Fresh Eggs and Cheeses
• Hawaiian Chocolate
• Discover Polynesian Canoe Crop food recipes
• Thought Provoking Films
• Bee Magic and Wellness


canoe mushrooms 3

For information email or call 808-328-2452

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>