Farm-to-school project nets donation: Mauna Kea Resort staff share sale proceeds for equipment purchase
KOHALA COAST — Gently used furniture and an eager group of employees looking for a bargain made the recipe for a generous donation.
Mauna Kea Resort recently concluded the sale of furniture that had been replaced in various areas of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. One hundred percent of the money from that sale was donated to the nonprofit North Kohala Community Resource Center and earmarked for the Kohala Complex’s Farm to School Project, which is among NKCRC’s nearly 100 sponsored projects.
The amount, $2,052, was just enough for Chef Greg Christian, president and founder of Beyond Green Sustainable Food Partners, and Kohala Complex Cafeteria Manager Priscilla Galan and her staff to order a much-needed bread slicer.
“I was at my wits end as to how we were going to purchase needed equipment and then Mauna Kea Resort stepped forward and made a difference,” said Christian, who has been leading a pilot project this school year to bring delicious local, fresh scratch-cooked food to students. “Sarah Pule, the lead baker in the Kohala cafeteria, is currently hand slicing more than 1,000 pieces of bread each week. She is so excited about the new, time-saving slicer.”
His goal through the project is to replace packaged and processed foods, as much as possible, with scratch-cooked local foods at the Kohala Schools Complex, the site for the statewide initiative. A milk dispenser remains on the list of much-needed equipment.
“I would like to thank Mauna Kea Resort and its employees for this generous donation to the Kohala Complex cafeteria, which will go towards purchasing some small kitchen equipment. This will undoubtedly help the kitchen staff as they prepare meals to meet the objectives of the Hawaii Farm to School Initiative’s Pilot Project,” said Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, who is spearheading the Hawaii Farm to School Initiative’s pilot project in collaboration with the Hawaii State Department of Education, Department of Agriculture and The Kohala Center. “Mauna Kea Resort’s interest in lending a hand to the Kohala Complex is a prime example of how public-private partnerships can work together to positively benefit our children and schools.”