We believe that a community’s well-being is tied to the health of its economy. We will advocate for paths that lead to sustainable communities and healthy natural and social environments for our keiki.
A keiki’s living environment impacts their ability to learn. Many families are struggling to survive as the price of housing increases year after year. Every child deserves a home where they can grow and thrive.
Finding a Home Shouldn’t Be a Burden
Housing is a Hawai‘i family’s greatest expense, averaging $1,362/month for a 2 bedroom apartment.1
57% of Hawai‘i renters and 30% of homeowners were housing burdened in 2015, meaning they spent at least 30% of their income on housing.2
Hawai‘i’s rate of homelessness is nearly 3X the national average.3
How we support housing Hawai‘i’s families:
Native Hawaiians have a proud tradition of growing our own food with an agricultural system that once sustained a population estimated to be as large as 1 million people. In recent years, our state has seen a resurgence in sustainable and culturally grounded agriculture, food distribution and consumption. We believe that supporting strong, local food systems will power economic growth, increase Hawai‘i’s resilience, and improve the health of our lāhui.
Growing a better Hawai‘i
Hawai‘i spends as much as $3 billion a year to import 90 percent of its food.4
Hawai‘i has an estimated 7,300 farmers across the state, with only 6% having a net income greater than $50,000.5
When schools serve local food, 33% of students eat more fruits and vegetables.6
How we support local food systems:
1 Aloha United Way. “ALICE: A Study of Financial hardship in Hawai‘i.” (2017): 29, 63.
3 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.” https://www.hudexchange.info/homelessness-assistance/ahar/#2018-reports.
4 Lyte, B. L. (2017, December 17). With pineapple and sugar production gone, Hawaii weighs its agricultural future. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/with-pineapple-and-sugar-production-gone-hawaii-weighs-its-agricultural-future/2017/12/17/c6e69236-e105-11e7-8679-a9728984779c_story.html.
5 Finnerty, R. F. (2020, June 15). Expanding Local Agriculture Into Major Economic Industry Poses Challenges. Hawaii Public Radio. https://www.hawaiipublicradio.org/post/expanding-local-agriculture-major-economic-industry-poses-challenges#stream/0.
6 National Farm to School Network. (2020, May). The Benefits of Farm to School. http://www.farmtoschool.org/Resources/BenefitsFactSheet.pdf.
7 Kamehameha Schools. (2017). ʻĀina Plan. https://www.ksbe.edu/assets/aina/Aina_Plan_2017.pdf.