Maui Business

$1.5M In Micro-loans for Low-Income Food Businesses

November 28, 2012, 8:03 AM HST
* Updated November 28, 8:06 AM
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$1.5 million in microloans is avalable for businesses in the food sector. Photo courtesy of Feed the Hunger Foundation.

By Sonia Isotov

Feed The Hunger Foundation (FTHF), an organization with more than $1.5 million to award in Hawaii micro-loans, is encouraging low-income entrepreneurs and small businesses in the state’s food sector to apply for available funds.

The foundation is dedicated to helping Hawaii achieve economic resiliency through innovative and sustainable solutions. Since 2009, FTHF has provided loans enabling more than 35 low-income entrepreneurs on Oahu to start and expand their small businesses, and now they are coming to Maui.

“Among the wide-ranging entities that Feed The Hunger Foundation invests in are young farmers who work to bring new technology and resilience to food production and groups of food producers sharing infrastructure such as tractors, cold storage, packaging areas and storefronts,” said Denise Albano, the president of FTHF, in a written statement.

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Past FTHF loan awardees in Hawaii have included entrepreneurs who purchased equipment and supplies for a highly efficient aquaponic fish and vegetable system; opened a small café dedicated to using local ingredients; took courses to become a commercially licensed driver; and opened a business serving ethnic foods.

Photo courtesy of Feed the Hunger Foundation,

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FTHF is able to extend an increasing number of loans thanks to generous donations made by organizations such as the Economic Development Administration of the Department of Commerce, which recently awarded $1 million to the foundation.

“There are many who would like to contribute to the movement for a self-sufficient food system in Hawaii but many are in need of funding to get their projects off the ground,” said Patti Chang, the chief executive officer of FTHF.

“We are able to consider applications from any entrepreneur who shares our desire to advance Hawaii’s food system,”

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Loans are granted on an ongoing basis and applications may be made at anytime. For information about FTHF, visit www.feed-hunger.com. For further information and to apply for a loan, contact Denise Albano at [email protected].

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