A happy volunteer holding a rack of freshly-harvested bananas

FAQ For Crop Donors

Why do I have to register my property?
Registering your property enters you into our online sign up system so volunteers can sign up for harvests and we can track our harvest yields for funding and admin purposes. Our system maintains privacy for all crop donors so that your address does not appear until a volunteer commits to attending the harvest.

How much does it cost to have volunteers harvest my produce?
It is free! However, it is not free for us; Kōkua Harvest’s expenses for every harvest is about $34. If you are able, please consider making a donation. Our costs go down the more harvests we do, so schedule a harvest today!

I am already registered. How do I schedule a harvest?
Call our program manager or email info@kokuaharvest.org to schedule a harvest.

Do you have minimum harvest requirements?
Nope! We are grateful for every pound of produce donated and we recognize that 10 pounds of māmaki is quite different from 10 pounds of avocado. If you’re unsure, email us at info@kokuaharvest.org. If you live near The Food Basket’s Hilo or Kona warehouse and have a small amount of produce to donate, we encourage you to drop your harvest with them directly.

How many volunteers do you bring with you?
That depends on how much there is to harvest. Our Covid-19 protocols keep all harvests between 1 and 5 individuals. If you have more than 3-5 trees that need harvesting, we can schedule multiple shifts. If you have additional questions, please email info@kokuaharvest.org.

Do I need to be present when volunteers are harvesting?
Kōkua Harvest does not require crop donors to be present when we are harvesting.

Can I/we help your crew harvest?
Yes! We love harvesting with our crop donors.

Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes! You will receive a tax letter at the end of the year. Please make sure you enter the correct mailing address when you register.

I rent/lease my home. Do I need to own the property for Kōkua Harvest to come out?
No, you do not need to own the property for us to come out, but you do need the permission and contact information of the property owner.

Where does the harvest go?
We aim to keep all harvest distributions in the same district the produce was harvested in. We have community partners throughout the island that receive and distribute our produce to communities in need.

Do you carry insurance? Am I liable for anything that may happen on my property?
We carry insurance through The Food Basket. Additionally, there are two acts that encourage the donation of food by limiting the donor’s liability, the federal-level Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act and State of Hawaiʻi Act 159.

As a farm owner, don't I need to pay people to do the work of my farm?
Yes, you do. But the good news about gleaning is we aren't considered employees doing the work of the farm since we're harvesting products that aren't going to be sold commercially! Check out this blog post at Farm Commons for more.

We have little fire ants! Can you still harvest from us?
Yes, but we require you to provide a place for us to wash the harvest before we leave the property. Minimum requirement is a functional hose. Check out Big Island Invasive Species’s LFA Options for Kōkua Harvest Hosts for tips on what you can do to prepare your area for our volunteers and how to eradicate LFA from your property.

My trees are tall and I can’t access the fruit! Can Kōkua Harvest pick it?
Maybe! One of our favorite tools is an extendable clip-and-hold. This tool extends to over 13 feet and allows our volunteers to reach fruit up to 20 feet high without a ladder.

A happy volunteer holding a rack of freshly-harvested bananas

FAQ For Volunteers

Can I bring my friend/husband/keiki?
Yes! All adults 16 and over MUST complete the Volunteer Registration Form in order to keep track of our volunteer crews. Keiki 15 and younger are welcome to attend with a parent or guardian but must be closely supervised. Please contact info@kokuaharvest.org if you intend to bring your keiki. The best harvests to bring keiki to are marked “keiki friendly” on the harvest signup page.

Has the fruit been sprayed with chemicals?
Sometimes. Our harvests take place on a wide variety of properties. We ask the property owner if the crop has been sprayed with non-organic chemicals and we include that information on the harvest posting.

I completed the Volunteer Registration Form. Am I signed up for the harvest?
Not yet. You need to visit our Harvests page where you will find all of the open harvests currently scheduled. Sign up for the harvests that you would like to attend. If there are no harvests listed, then we do not have any scheduled. Check back frequently for new postings. As a registered volunteer, you will also receive our e-newsletter and emailed harvest alerts.

I signed up for a harvest. When will I get the address?
After you sign up for a harvest on the Harvests page, your name is added to the roster. The page that appears right after you sign up shows the address for the harvest. Write it down before you go to any other page. You will also be sent an email with a link to the harvest details.

Why won't the signup page let me on the roster?
You may have typed your name differently than you did when you initially registered. You also need to make sure you checked off the Release and Waiver of Liability. If you are still unable to access the roster, contact Dick at kokuaharvest@gleanweb.org or (503) 991-5525.

I forgot to write down the harvest address!
The email you received after you signed up includes a link to information about the harvest, including the address. If you have signed up for the harvest but lost this email, click here (go to the Volunteer page and click the button there to get another email). If you have any trouble, contact Dick at kokuaharvest@gleanweb.org or (503) 991-5525.

I signed up for a harvest/waitlist and now I can’t go. What should I do?
Please cancel your registration. Cancelling gives someone else a chance to attend in your place which helps everybody. The email that you receive after signing up for the harvest has a link to use if you need to cancel.

Why are the harvests filling so quickly?
Many volunteers check the harvests page, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, are signed up for texted #harvestalerts, and receive harvest alert emails for their desired districts. Those who check often and are subscribed to text and email alerts are usually the first to get on the roster.

How do I get text alerts?
If you’re interested in texted #harvestalerts, text one district name (ex. Kau, North Kona, South Kohala) per message to 833-818-5134 or text “ALOHA” to sign up for all 9 districts.

Why are there not more harvests?
Kōkua Harvest relies on donations from growers. After a crop is offered, our manager factors Kōkua Harvest's ability to staff harvests, parking availability, and the requests of the crop donor to determine how and when harvests will be hosted. If you know someone with extra produce, encourage them to reach out to us!

What should I do if my contact information changes?
If you are changing contact information like your email address or phone number, go to the Volunteer page and click on 'Update.' If you need to make a name change, write to Dick Yates at kokuaharvest@gleanweb.org.

Can I bring my dog to the harvest?
We love dogs, but request your ʻīlio stays at home. We follow Good Agricultural Practices which, for sanitary reasons, do not permit dogs to be near food harvesting operations. Also, some farms and homes have livestock or their own animals on site and unknown dogs could frighten or endanger the resident animals.

A happy volunteer holding a rack of freshly-harvested bananas