Release Date: October 1, 2020
Contact: Megan Blazak
Hilo Farm Bureau Chapter Launches East Hawaiʻi Farm-to-Car Program
A Weekly Drive-Thru Farmers Market in Kea‘au
Hilo, HI—Hilo County Farm Bureau invites producers and consumers to participate in the East Hawai‘i Farm-to-Car Program. The program is a weekly virtual farmers market with an online shopping platform where consumers can purchase local produce, meats, eggs, cheeses, baked goods, and value-added products. Orders can be picked up in a drive-thru market format at the Puna Hongwanji Mission in Kea‘au.
The program aims to help agricultural and food businesses experiencing financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hilo County Farm Bureau was inspired to launch the program after seeing the success of the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau’s Farm-to-Car pilot program in Honolulu.
“This initiative was created to connect our community with Hawaiʻi Island farmers. It gives people access to locally grown food at a reasonable cost. It also encourages our hardworking farmers to continue farming,” says Aileen Yeh, president of Hilo County Farm Bureau.
The program is being funded by the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development’s Innovation and COVID-19 Economic Recovery Grant Program. The pick up location has been generously donated by the Board of Directors of the Puna Hongwanji Mission.
Starting Friday, October 2, customers can pre-order local farm and food products online at easthawaiifarm2car.localfoodmarketplace.com during the weekly Friday—Monday shopping period. Customers will pick up their orders on Wednesdays from 3—6 p.m. at the Puna Hongwanji Mission located at 16-492 Old Volcano Road in Kea‘au. A drive-thru format will be used so customers can safely receive their orders inside their vehicles with minimal social contact. All orders are guaranteed and will not be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Local farmer David Cooper, owner of Triple Plaid Farm, is excited to participate as a supplier, saying “East Hawai‘i Farm-to-Car is a great addition to the local food marketplace. Many producers have been struggling with reduced traffic at their traditional sales venues, and Farm-to-Car has stepped in to fill the gaps with their easy-to-use web platform.”
Farmers, ranchers, nurserymen, and food producers interested in supplying products should contact coordinator McKenzie Wildey at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the Supplier Form available on the program website. Suppliers will be accepted on a rolling basis.
Hilo County Farm Bureau is an equal opportunity provider and employer.