Representatives and Senators of the Hawaii State 29th Legislature
United States of America

As a supporter of Kanu o ka ‘Äina New Century Public Charter School, Mālamapoki’i preschool and Kauhale ‘Ōiwi o Pu’ukapu learning destination, I am testifying in strong support of KALO’s request to help us build a USDA Certified kitchen.

The GIA request will provide public school students, preschool students, community children, the elderly and needy families that suffer from food insecurity, subsidized meals they currently qualify for, as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), but do not have access to. The USDA certified kitchen is expected to serve approximately 158,000 federally subsidized meals in the first year of operation to community members currently not able to access subsidized meals because there is no facility. The kitchen will be constructed on State land and benefit the populous as a whole, generating an expected $400,000 annually in USDA food subsidies to support food security.

Our community has worked hard for our children and public education, raising over $19 million to construct 51,300 square feet of school and community learning space since 2009; 77% from the federal government, 13.5% from the private sector and 9.5% from the State. Because Kauhale serves public school children we are required to build the facilities with the highest safety regulations, meeting school, and USDA requirements.

Currently, Kanu’s K-12th grade and Malamapoki’i preschool enrollment are over 600 students, and there are many other community members that are not being serviced we hope to support, including kupuna, youth summer programs, and preschool students.

We believe all public-school children deserve the same opportunities and resources, regardless of what public school they attend.

We, the undersigned, call on the Hawaii State Legislature to join us in our successful efforts by awarding $1.25 million in CIP funds to KALO for a USDA certified kitchen.

Mahalo for taking the time to hear our request and support our community and specifically our public school keiki.

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The Testimony in strong support of KALO's Grants-In-Aid Application petition to Representatives and Senators of the Hawaii State 29th Legislature was written by Taffi Wise and is in the category Education at GoPetition.