Serving 359,159 meals to the homeless in a single year requires a literal ton(s) of ingredients. To supplement the meals with fresh, locally grown produce, the Institute for Human Services maintains a rooftop garden on top of its Dillingham Blvd. location, carefully tended to by GoFarm Hawaiʻi graduate Lubei Cavin.
At her invite, eight agents from O’ahu County Extension had an opportunity to return to IHS’s rooftop garden to see how all the magic happens. Aquaponically grown lettuce, basil, kalo, and sweet potatoes were just some of the many commodities growing.
Lubei led an aquaculture production “class” for her visitors, and shared her focus on the humanity side of agriculture and how the garden provides food to keep people fed and nourished. Extension also had an opportunity to see how the veggies are processed in the kitchen, then packed and served to IHS guests across Oʻahu.
“The field trip was eye opening,” says Jari Sugano. “It reminded us how important it is to put food into the hands of those who need it the most.”
Following the visit, Extension and volunteers made a special effort to help IHS supplement its holiday spread. They harvested and donated mandarins and citrus from Extension agent Jensen Uyeda field trial at the Poamoho Research Station.
“As this holiday season approaches, please be mindful of those in need and support organizations like IHS who strive to end homelessness in Hawaiʻi,” says Jari. “In 2020, IHS housed 2,619 clients and sheltered 2,145 people – besides serving all those meals. So please consider making donations of food, clothing, home goods, toiletries, monetary gifts, gift cards, etc.”
Watch a video of Extension’s visit.