Giving Back At Farm Markets

Attaching itself to the popularity of farmers markets, the Give It Fresh Today cause opened a table last month at Windward Mall’s Wednesday market and already has collected more than 270 pounds of surplus and donated produce to feed hungry area families.

“In the first few weeks, the Kaneohe community has fully embraced the concept,” said GIFT founder and volunteer Vivian Best.

“Both our local shoppers and local farmers are enthusiastic about feeding our local community.”

The concept is simple: Shoppers can buy extra items and donate them; gardeners can bring their harvests from home, as well as excess seeds for GIFT’s seed-share box. The group also maintains a reusable bag exchange for market customers.

Best said she now hopes to recruit more volunteers to help out at the mall’s new Sunday market. (Her team is located at the top of the escalator from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.)

For more details or to offer help, call her at 282-0053 or email

In partnership with the nonprofit Aloha Harvest, GIFT delivers donated Windward Mall produce free of charge to agencies such as Family Promise of Kailua, Kaneohe Seventh-day Adventist Church and Hope Chapel Olomana.

It also operates at Kapiolani Community College’s Saturday and Tuesday markets, and at Blaisdell Center’s Wednesday market.