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A Local Community Solution to Securing Maui’s Food Resources

A Local Community Solution to Securing Maui’s Food Resources

For over 1,000 years, Hawai’ians produced enough food to supply an estimated one million people.

In stark contrast today, approximately 92% of Hawaii’s food is imported.

Currently, Hawai’i has a supply of fresh produce that can last our current population no more than 10 days.

90% of the beef, 67% of the fresh vegetables, 65% of the fresh fruits and 80% of all milk purchased in Hawaii are imported, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

This heavy reliance on out-of-State sources of food means our local communities are particularly vulnerable and at risk of food shortages in the event of natural disasters, economic disruptions and global events that might disrupt shipping and our food supply.

Not only this, yet if these current trends continue, Hawaii’s last agricultural lands will be gone by 2040 according to the Hawaii Farmers Union.



While these food security issues are deeply concerning, if you look at our island’s history, it reveals the solution to protecting our island — returning to the way that the ancient Hawai’ians used to produce food for their community, by taking care of the aina (land) and staying local.

Common Ground Collective is a 501c3 non-profit organization who aims to do exactly that.

Currently all over the island of Maui there is a large surplus of available food growing on trees and plants on local properties, however unfortunately it is mostly wasted and left rotting on the ground.

As a solution, Common Ground Collective has launched a ‘Foster Farming’ project that works together with local landowners based on Maui who have an abundance of backyard produce on their properties, yet may not use it all and don’t have the resources to manage it themselves.

Simply put, Common Ground Collective comes to harvest the oversupply of produce and the landowner (or whoever organized it) can take their share from what got harvested and have the option to sell the quality produce or to donate it.

The organization works with local connections when selling to push out imports and all produce donated goes to organizations who work with those in need, such as the Maui Food Bank.


If you have food produce on your property that may not all go to use and want to learn more about this exciting food security project, you can sign up to the ‘Foster Farming’ project here.


Food Security in Hawaii Report
Increased Food Security and Food Self-Sufficiency Strategy Report
Maui Pono Network
Common Ground Collective


Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Article reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.