Kakaako restaurant and retail workers affected by the pandemic received produce box

HONOLULU, HI (June 27, 2020) – Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance partnered with Our Kakaako and Ward Village on Saturday, June 27, 2020, to provide 250 Kokua Boxes of mainly local produce to support restaurant and retail workers who have been impacted by COVID-19.

From 9 a.m.–12 p.m., eligible restaurant and retail workers impacted by COVID-19 who were laid off, furloughed, or work at these properties were invited to pick up a complimentary 35-pound Kokua Box containing produce and other food items at 210 Ward Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96814.

“Kamehameha Schools is committed to the well-being of our tenants and their ohana, and we are fortunate to collaborate with these two organizations to provide these produce boxes to the tenants of Our Kakaako,” said Walter Thoemmes, KS’ commercial real estate division managing director. “It is a priority for us to support our tenants and community partners and uplift mutually beneficial relationships that help Hawaii to thrive, succeed and recover from this crisis.”

The Kokua Box pilot was launched to help laid-off, furloughed or current employees of local businesses who may be struggling with the downturn in the economy as a result of COVID-19. With more than 22% unemployment in the State, many families are struggling with one or both adults out of work. This Kokua Box program has also offered families faced with unemployment and lack of resources for the first time with an alternative means of accessing food. 

“This has become a wonderful partnership to provide some relief to Kakaako restaurant and retail workers who’ve been impacted by COVID-19, while continuing to support local agriculture,” said Todd Apo, Senior Vice President of Community Development at The Howard Hughes Corporation. “Until our community is back to 100%, our Ward Village team will continue to look for ways that we can help.”

The Kokua Boxes were provided by the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box program and Ham Produce & Seafood, a local food distributor selected in Hawaii to coordinate produce from local farmers to help families in need. Employees of tenants from Our Kakaako and Ward Village were invited to sign up on a first come, first served basis for a specific pickup time on June 27, 2020.

“This box is going to help feed two families — I’m going to share with another mom,” said Melina Hicks of Paiko in SALT At Our Kaka‘ako. “This is a great way for the community to come together. We can’t thank you enough.”

The Kokua Box pilot will be evaluated by the partners to determine whether it will become a regular program based on its success in distributing food to people in need, as well as whether a need continues to exist among the tenant employees.

About Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance
The Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance (HACA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that supports programs to promote culinary arts, agriculture, environmental stewardship and sustainability, culture and education in Hawaiʻi.  The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, now in its 10th year, is its most visible and widely known program.  As the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific, the annual Festival features a roster of more than 150 internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, sommeliers, mixologists, and wine and spirit producers. HACA most recently organized a crowdfunding campaign to generate funds for its Kokua Restaurant Workers’ Fund that has raised more than $146,000 to help restaurant workers laid off as a result of COVID-19.

About Kamehameha Schools
Founded in 1887 by the legacy of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, Kamehameha Schools (KS) is a private, educational, charitable trust committed to improving the capability and well-being of the Native Hawaiian people through education. In 2015, KS embarked on a bold voyage that envisions, in one generation, a thriving lahui where learners, grounded in Christian and Hawaiian values, achieve postsecondary educational success and become leaders who contribute to their communities both locally and globally. For more information, visit www.ksbe.edu and connect via Facebook and Instagram (@kamehamehaschools) and Twitter (@ksnews).

About Our Kakaako
Our Kakaako is a mixed-use, urban-island community by Kamehameha Schools on nine contiguous city blocks in the heart of Honolulu, between South Street and Ward Avenue. The community, which is currently in the active stages of a multi-year redevelopment, will contain a mixture of low-rise and high-rise structures, a range of housing types, open spaces, central gathering places, and a neighborhood supportive of commercial and industrial uses. Part of the vision for Our Kakaako is that it will continue to grow as a progressive catalyst for innovation and become the epicenter of urban-island culture, and the lifestyle that it represents. To learn more, please visit www.OurKakaako.com.

About The Howard Hughes Corporation®
The Howard Hughes Corporation owns, manages and develops commercial, residential and mixed-use real estate throughout the U.S. Its award-winning assets include the country’s preeminent portfolio of master planned cities and communities, as well as operating properties and development opportunities including: the Seaport District in New York; Columbia, Maryland; The Woodlands®, The Woodlands Hills®, and Bridgeland® in the Greater Houston, Texas area; Summerlin®, Las Vegas; and Ward Village® in Honolulu, Hawai’i. The Howard Hughes Corporation’s portfolio is strategically positioned to meet and accelerate development based on market demand, resulting in one of the strongest real estate platforms in the country. Dedicated to innovative place making, the company is recognized for its ongoing commitment to design excellence and to the cultural life of its communities. The Howard Hughes Corporation is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as HHC.

About Ward Village®
Developed by The Howard Hughes Corporation®, Ward Village is a 60-acre master-planned community in the heart of Honolulu, located between downtown and Waikiki, along O‘ahu’s picturesque south shore. Honoring the distinct history of its land, Ward Village is at the forefront of sustainable community development—integrating striking architecture, local culture, and public open space.

As a result of strong demand for new housing in urban Honolulu, Ward Village is quickly approaching sellout of its first four mixed-use residential towers — Waiea®, Anaha®, Ae‘o®, and Ke Kilohana® — transforming the popular shopping and dining district into a vibrant neighborhood that offers ocean views and open space, including its newest outdoor gathering place, Victoria Ward Park. New residential buildings in development or under construction include Aalii, Koula, and Victoria Place.