Located about 2,500 miles from the nearest continent, our island state imports 85 to 90 percent of its food. Not only does this cost billions of dollars each year, it makes us more vulnerable when there are natural disasters and other situations that affect shipping and the food supply.
At Touch A Heart, we're doing our part to address these concerns by sourcing more of our ingredients locally and supporting local agriculture.
We're proud to partner with Pacific Gateway Center (PGC), a fellow nonprofit organization that empowers low-income residents, immigrants, refugees, and other vulnerable populations to achieve self- sufficiency through skill-building and access to opportunities while respecting cultural heritages. Most of PGCs immigrant clients are farmers from their respective home countries, and with PGC's support, many are able to return to this way of life and achieve economic independence. PGC leases farmland to refugee and immigrant farmers in Kunia who then grow cucumber, varieties of tomatoes, squash, beans, eggplant, okra, Thai chili pepper, avocado, and bananas. Their produce is sold to food distributors, restaurants, and farmers' markets.
We've been engaging more with PGC to secure local produce for Kupuna and Family Meals and Meals With Aloha. Most recently, we purchased eggplant from them, and we look forward to continuing to deepen this relationship.
We also continue to receive donations from our food rescue partner, Aloha Harvest. Last week, we had an abundance of produce from them that we weren't able to store. This gave us an opportunity to pass blessings on to several kupuna in Pearl City by giving them lettuce, potatoes, and cranberries. Their happiness, excitement, and appreciation brought smiles all around.
Our hearts are touched by the generosity of our partners and the community, and we're grateful to touch even more hearts by sharing these gifts. Thank you for being part of our ongoing efforts to create a more sustainable Hawaii.