H.T. Hayashi Foundation Awards $315,000 in Grant Funding to Organizations Supporting Wildlife, Culture, and Community Health

At its May 2021 board meeting, the H.T. Hayashi Foundation awarded $315,000 in total grant funding to five local organizations supporting Hawaii’s people, native wildlife, culture, and food security. Of this amount, $196,000 was distributed this year, with the remainder being part of a multi-year award to Kupu. These recent awards bring the 2021 Foundation grant distributions to more than $331,000, going to local community organizations making a positive difference across the state.

“We are humbled to support and partner with local organizations that are helping to improve our communities by taking care of our land, indigenous wildlife, people, and culture,” said Jan Harada, executive director of the H.T. Hayashi Foundation. “We are grateful for the opportunity to help these five organizations build capacity as they continue to work towards a healthier and happier Hawaii.”


Aloha Harvest was awarded $15,000 to support its organizational development, staff training, and strategic plan implementation efforts. Aloha Harvest is the largest same-day food rescue and redistribution organization in the state. Their work strives to address food insecurity and the negative environmental impact of food waste. Their teams and volunteers redistribute quality excess food from donors free of charge to social service agencies and communities in need.


Hawaii Wildlife Center (HWC) received $40,000 of unrestricted general operating support. The HWC provides wildlife rescue, emergency response, and hospital care for Hawaii’s native birds and bats from all main Hawaiian Islands and the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. In addition to providing treatment for injured birds and bats, their strategies to tackle human and climate threats to these species include conducting research in partnership with other organizations and providing community education and outreach.


Kua‘aina Ulu ‘Auamo (KUA) was awarded $70,000 of general operating support for its work supporting Native Hawaiian culture and traditions, environmental conservation, climate change initiatives, and local food production. Through their support of community-based natural resources management, KUA works with the government, organizations, and communities to protect the land’s natural resources and restore the communities’ traditional role as caretakers of our land and waters.


Kupu was awarded $180,000 of unrestricted general operating support distributed over the next four years, as the nonprofit continues to serve some of Hawaii’s most vulnerable youth and families and works to protect and preserve our natural and cultural resources and knowledge. Kupu works to guide the islands toward a more sustainable future by empowering youth through hands-on service opportunities in conservation, sustainability, and environmental education. These outdoor programs seek to cultivate Hawaii’s next generation of environmental and cultural stewards.


Breastfeeding Hawaii Coalition received $10,000 of capacity-building support for its strategic planning costs. The Coalition works to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. It serves as the state affiliate to the United States Breastfeeding Committee. It is part of the Hawaii Maternal & Infant Health Collaborative, a mix of public and private organizations with a shared vision of improving outcomes for Hawaii’s families. The Coalition has worked to make Hawaii hospitals “Baby-Friendly” and improved their Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) CDC scores.

2019 Hawaiʻi Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor (IBC) Training cohort, 32 wahine from across the paeʻāina were awarded the designation of IBC. The training consisted of Anatomy & Physiology of Breastfeeding, positioning along with an integration of Native Hawaiian cultural practices around breastfeeding like lomilomi, ʻai pono, hoʻoponopono, lāʻau lapaʻau and understanding cultural trauma.

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