Kōkua Harvest is Hawaiʻi Island’s food rescue project. We prevent food waste at its source, build community resilience and connection, and strengthen access to healthy, nutrient-dense fresh fruit and vegetables. We harvest and distribute excess produce to low-income communities throughout Hawai’i Island. Through the act of rescuing and sharing food, we connect and nourish our community to build stronger relationships and a deeper appreciation for food.

Food rescue (also known as “gleaning”) is the ancient tradition of collecting excess fresh food from farms, gardens, restaurants, or other sources and donating it to those in need. It is a successful model for reducing the waste of valuable produce, and it gives low-income individuals access to fresh and locally-grown foods that are not always available in their communities.

Hawaiʻi is fortunate to have a year-round growing season and a long cultural tradition of sharing and growing food. Still, every year thousands of pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables go to waste on farms large and small. Backyard fruit trees and excess garden produce also go unharvested.

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Through the act of gleaning and sharing food, we connect and nourish our community to build stronger relationships and a deeper appreciation for our food.