As its "Kauai Fresh" food brand demonstrates, Kauai Food Bank Ohana is learning how to give its charitable activities an entrepreneurial edge. Dependency is giving way to capacity and partnerships as this organization tries literally to work itself out of a job.
"Kauai Food Bank's reputation has come to be built not so much on feeding the hungry, as crucial as that is, as on addressing the root causes of hunger through original and unique programming.... Kauai Fresh enables the smallest backyard grower to get a foothold in the local produce market and provides him or her with an income stream that through the multiplier effect contributes to the local economy in numerous ways. From 2002-2005, the program put a total of almost US$2 million into the pockets of 50 local growers and provided millions of pounds of produce for the community. Estimates are that less than 80% of Kauai's produce is now imported, and our plans are to reduce that to 50% in the near future."