Paina By Ocean: Hawaii Island teen provides for community, local farmers amid Coronavirus pandemic

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HONOKA’A, Hawaii (KHON2) – Kamaha’o Ocean Kanekoa has created an outlet to bring Hawaii Island residents fresh goods from the mountain to the sea.

Paina By Ocean services local farmers, ranchers and fishermen during these unprecedented times.

“Our program is an online farmers market,” said Kamaha’o Ocean Kanekoa, creator of Paina By Ocean. “We take produce from all around the island, mostly from the Big Island, and we put it on our market. We have a la carte or you can choose our Paina Bag which has a protein and we’ll put together vegetables and a recipe.”

The 14-year-old launched the program in March during the early stages of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“When we saw that they didn’t have any business due to the closure of hotels and restaurants, which is their main market, we wanted to help them out as much as we could.”

The program started with four farmers and has flourished to help 40 farms, including Double D Ranch.

“We were able to actually bring on more employees, because of programs like Paina By Ocean,” said Joanna Nobriga, owner of Double D Ranch. “We now have, I think two or three more people than we initially had before COVID-19.”

When customers walk away with a Paina Bag, they’re not just going home with fresh produce, but also special recipes created by Kanekoa himself.

“I like to base it around what we have in our bag. Plus, cooking for me it started at a young age, because my dad being a chef, my sister is a culinary teacher, my grandma cooks, so it just kind of runs in our family.”

Paina By Ocean recently dished out 150 Paina Family Food Boxes to families in need in North Kohala.

“This has been just amazing. So I love making recipes. I’ve always loved cooking and now that we can help our farmers it’s just a great experience.”

To learn more about Paina By Ocean, click here.

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