Shop for MA‘O Farms on Wednesday

May 16th, 2011
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Waianae youth work at MA‘O Farm in exchange for a stipend and tuition waiver at Leeward Community College. They get Associates of Arts degrees as well as a certificate in community food security. Photo courtesy Whole Foods Market.

Waianae youth work at MA‘O Farm in exchange for a stipend and tuition waiver at Leeward Community College. They get Associates of Arts degrees as well as a certificate in community food security. Photo courtesy Whole Foods Market.

This coming Wednesday, five percent of proceeds from Whole Foods Market Kahala will go to MA‘O Farms' Youth Leadership Training college internship program.

MA‘O Farms, one of Whole Foods' suppliers. is a non-profit that provides youth with college scholarships while teaching them agricultural skills. MA‘O is a regular fixture at Kapiolani Community College farmers' market, offering fresh basil, kale, sassy salad mix, limes, and other produce from its farm in Waianae.

For the last five years, MA‘O has hired youth from the community to work part-time on its certified organic farm in Waianae. Participants in the program get a full tuition waiver to Leeward Community College and a starting monthly stipend of $500 in exhange for 20 hours of sweat equity at the farm.

You can read the MA‘O Farms blog here.

The youth must commit to two-and-a-half-years, and receive Associates of Arts degrees and a certificate in community food security. A total of 25 youth are now participating in the program.

The Thomas J. Vincent Foundaiton of Kaneohe is also matching Whole Foods Market's donation.

Scholarship recipients Lindsey Ozawa (former executive chef of Nobu), and Martha Cheng, of MELT, will give a cooking demonstration at 4 p.m.

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