2013-39 Way Testimony re SPP 1122
Puna Community Development Plan Action Committee
Communications to AC
2013-39 Way Testimony re SPP 1122
7/10/2013 9:39:13 AM
7/10/2013 9:38:27 AM
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and farmers. We're proud of the SPACE Market for being an example of economic and sustainable <br />growth, while enllancing community strength and culture. <br />In order to better serve our customers and maximize access and participation in the marketplace by <br />local people, we networked with local agencies to approve the use of EBT (food stamps) and other <br />stipends at the market. We are very proud to say that we were only the second market on the island to <br />offer this method of payment. This is especially important in Puna where over 20% of residents rely on <br />EBT. EBT purchases at our market have reached a single -day high of $4,350.00, and overall EBT <br />purchases have more than doubled in the past year. All of this money, every penny in fact, went into <br />the pockets of our vendors, hence increasing their sales, and therefore supporting small businesses and <br />our local economy. This increase reflects HVC's success in serving the community by maintaining <br />positive relationships and widening access for all members of the community to shop for local, healthy <br />foods. <br />Since many people in lower Puna do not have reliable transportation, they often find it difficult to get <br />to Pahoa or Hilo to buy food. Our market gives these people an opportunity to shop close to home once <br />a week. For those who do have cars, many market shoppers have expressed their gratitude for not <br />having to drive 30 miles round trip to buy wonderful fresh food. The weekly farmers' market at SPACE <br />serves our environment by reducing the traffic on our state highways and vehicle emissions in the air <br />we all breathe. <br />We serve the community by providing education in the performing arts. We provide a performing <br />arts workshop curriculum to the general public, including youth camps, after- school programs, and <br />recreational classes. Each year, HVC offers dozens of workshops in performing arts, such as circus arts, <br />dance, gymnastics, and yoga; all providing individuals with specialized training and activities In the <br />arts. Both adults and children attend workshops and educational activities offered at SPACE, most of <br />who live in lower Puna. <br />Our flagship circus arts program, the HICCUP Circus, is an innovative and highly successful ongoing <br />education program serving the children and youth of Puna, many of whom lack access to safe, healthy <br />extracurricular activities. The mission of the Hiccup Circus is "to promote the healthy development of <br />children and the community through the time honored skills of the circus." <br />We also offer educational services to the public at large with emphasis on elementary and intermediate <br />school age children and teenagers, especially in our under - served isolated rural community. Our <br />methodology for developing and implementing programs is through partnerships with other <br />educational, civic, and charitable organizations. <br />Since 1984, the award winning `Hiccups' have been a regular feature at most Big Island festivals and <br />parades for years, performing for community events and benefits extending across the Hawaiian Islands <br />to the west coast of the United States. <br />Our most popular Hiccup program is our circus camp. These camps, generally held twice a year during <br />school holidays, offer a focused, intensive time for developing circus skills and serving families by <br />offering a positive alternative for kids to participate in during time off from school. HVC invites older <br />youth (former campers) to work alongside professional instructors as camp assistants to encourage <br />leadership skills and economic responsibility. The success of our youth camps is marked by our annual <br />retention and growth of campers, who are 'Inspired by their instructors to achieve their highest potential <br />through practice, *discipline, and positivity. HVC's programs not only teach artistic skills, but healthy <br />
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