Kohala Food Hub's vision is to build a sustainable regional food system and agricultural model for the Hawaiian Islands and beyond, supporting our island's resilience, human health and welfare, ecosystems, and economy. Our collaborations with food hubs statewide, local government, agencies, community groups and non-profit organizations is central to our work of becoming more food secure and less reliant on imports throughout the Hawaiian Islands. In our region, we help to build and support our farming community and our local economy, with a particular focus on supporting farms engaging in regenerative agriculture practices that preserve the land and waters for generations to come.
Kohala Food Hub, a 501(c)(3) organization providing services to our local food producers and community, has experienced exponential growth in our impact over the last two years. From January-August 2021 vs. 2023, we have increased:
Essential services for local food producers by 378%
Free food support for local households by 250%
Online customers by 179%
Pounds of local food distributed by 226%
The farmers we work with are working together to meet the growing demand for local, nutrient dense food in the Kohala area and beyond. While not necessarily certified organic, the vast majority of the farmers we work with use natural and organic farming methods, improving our soil and natural environment.
Our Core Values
We are dedicated to supporting our local farmers and food businesses by opening and maintaining retail, wholesale and institutional markets to provide consistent demand so they can spend more time on their farms and kitchens doing what they are expert at and scaling their businesses. We are dedicated to improving local food access so that all community members have access to the healthy and nutrient dense food they want and need, regardless of household income. We are dedicated to championing regenerative agriculture practices that preserve the land and waters for generations to come.
Meet the Team
Maya has been directing Kohala Food Hub since November 2021, overseeing considerable growth in the number of community members served, local producers supported, and collaborative partnerships created. Prior to her work with Kohala Food Hub, Parish supported local agricultural initiatives on the island for many years through producing educational workshop series, videos and events. Maya has been lucky enough to call Kohala home since 2013.
Serving her community, supporting the local food system, and thereby increasing environmental, community, and individual health and wellness is central to Parish’s career and purpose. She has worked extensively as a volunteer community organizer and she currently sits on North Kohala’s CDP Advisory Group and Agricultural sub-group. She also teaches yoga in private and group class settings, and taught yoga to Kohala Elementary School students for several years through Keiki Yoga Kohala.
Previous employment includes Operations Manager of Escape Hatch, LLC, Programs Manager at Kohala Institute at ‘Iole, Teaching Artist at The Unusual Suspects, and CareActor with Kaiser Permanente.
Hailing from Ireland originally, Sandra leads operations for the Kohala Food Hub and has an extensive operations background in both the non-profit & for-profit sectors. She previously served as the Director of Operations for the Legacy Reef Foundation, growing coral at NELHA on the Big Island.
Prior to that, she held a range of roles in procurement & commodity management, had her own mobile food business, worked in the home automation field and has even been a bike messenger in Australia. She counts herself very lucky to have resided in multiple states in the US and a few global countries too. Sandra loves to stay active with her Big Island community, hiking & biking and trying to get in the ocean every day.
After feeling the call for almost two years, Lina is humbled and thankful to call North Kohala home. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she and her husband, James, recently sold their business, Magpie Cafe, which was born from their love for food and community. A natural foods chef, certified yoga instructor and graduate of the Institute of IntegrativeNutrition, she understands the healing force of natural foods and conscious living. She lives by the principle that food is medicine and believes that what we put into our bodies directly affects the way we function physically, emotionally and spiritually. Lina is grateful for the opportunity to connect with local farmers, growers, artisans and the Kohala community while supporting access to the abundant, local produce, plants, foods & products of the island.
Cassidy moved to North Kohala from Bellingham, Washington almost two years ago. She brings with her a passion for caring for the land, local food security and community. Back in Washington, she ran a holistic landscaping business specializing in edible landscapes and rainwater harvesting. She also co-created free farmers markets to distribute seasonal produce in town.
Since moving to Kohala, she has worked in native plant restoration and sustainable landscape development. She lives at Pueo Ridge Farms (who you can find on the online market!) and is happy to be part of the food hub team today. When not at work, you can find her riding her bike, doing Prius mechanic work or belly dancing.