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Group of people around the podium
Photo credit: Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute

For years, Hawaiʻi’s food system has been on the precipice of crises. Around 90% of Hawaiʻi’s food is imported, and, as of 2021, almost half of all families in the state reported experiencing some level of food insecurity. The COVID-19 pandemic, the wildfires in Lahaina and recent statewide data have shown that Hawaiʻi is profoundly unprepared for natural disasters. Moreover, recent analysis has found that fires and natural disasters in Hawaiʻi are increasing.

Group of people in a breakout session
Breakout discussion at Hawaiʻi Food System Summit. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute

That’s why the Transforming Hawaiʻi’s Food Systems Together (THFST) initiative is hosting its 2nd Annual Hawaiʻi Food System Summit, December 14–15, at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu.

“Meaningful change to the agri-food system of Hawaiʻi is critical in meeting our health, equity, resilience and sustainability goals as a state,” said Co-organizer Albie Miles, an associate professor of Sustainable Community Food Systems at UH West Oʻahu. “The annual food system summit is a key forum where important food policies are discussed among elected officials and diverse stakeholders from across the islands.”

Lawmaker panel.
Lawmaker panel. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute

THFST is a partnership of public and private agencies that aims to invest in the development of a healthy, equitable and community-based food system for Hawaiʻi is an opportunity to create a new agricultural economy that is more resilient to the climate crisis, increases food security, improves public health and nutrition, and restores Hawaiʻi’s significant biocultural resources.

Registration for the summit is closed, however, the event will be live streamed on Facebook by ʻŌiwi TV and will feature remarks from U.S. Rep. Jill Tokuda, state elected officials and others.

Other summit co-organizers include Mahina Paishon-Duarte, co-founder and chief executive officer of Waiwai Collective, Roella Foronda, programs director of Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute, and other community partners and organizations.

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