Pearl Harbor Commissary launches farmers’market, promotes Healthy Base Initiative

The Pearl Harbor Commissary gives patrons the ability to purchase fresh grown produce from local farmers in Hawaii.

The Pearl Harbor Commissary gives patrons the ability to purchase fresh grown produce from local farmers in Hawaii.

Story and photo by MC2 Tiarra Fulgham

Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Detachment Hawaii

The Pearl Harbor Commissary hosted a farmer’s market on April 4. The event was part of the Healthy Base Initiative, focused on promoting healthy behaviors and healthy environments for military members and their families.

Part of the entertainment included hula dance exercise and music by Sailors of the Pacific Fleet Band. Representatives from health and wellness and local farmers were on hand.

Capt. Jeffrey James, commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, together with Air Force Col. David Kirkendall, 647th Air Base Group Commander and deputy commander of Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, were on hand in a show of military support.

“The Healthy Base Initiative could also be called the common sense initiative,” said James about HBI. “It aligns what we already know about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, good nutrition, regular exercise, no tobacco use with more formal resiliency programs, such as the 21st Century Sailor, to help inform sound decision-making across a broad spectrum of subjects ranging from design of streets, sidewalks and crosswalks, to food options on base, to fitness programs offered to service members and their families,” he said.

The events were designed to promote both healthy food choices and a healthy active lifestyle.

“Today we are trying to introduce our local farm products,” said Eyvinne Umemoto, Pearl Harbor commissary store director.

“There are over 115 vendors that we have on island, and we get to call and order fresh products from. We also want to continue supporting the Healthy Base Initiative with the Naval Health Clinic.”

A new display was featured that includes fresh locally grown foods available in the produce section of the commissary. Patrons were able to taste different samples and ask farmers questions.

“We were invited to do this program with the commissary on promoting Hawaii grown products,” said Derwin Okinaka, representative for Sugarland Farms.

Zumba and hula dance exercise demonstrations offered some fun ways for people to stay active.

“It’s a health alliance through DECA, MWR, the NEX, AFFES and Health Promotions, both Air Force and Navy,” said James Duff, Healthy Base Initiative program representative for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

“There are various health promotions classes, MWR health classes to help lose weight, healthy eating at DECA, promoting eating healthy fruits,” Duff said.

“I am part of a team within ‘Choose to Lose,’” said Linda Stolze, who was participating in the hula dance exercise.

“And we have done hikes together and we have met at parks with equipment like weights, medicine balls and we workout outside which is awesome because we are in Hawaii and it’s great to get out. That has really motivated me. I still have a long way to go, but I am on my way and I am going to stick with it,” Stolze said.

The Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) is a Department of Defense agency that supports more than 245 commissaries worldwide, providing groceries and household supplies to members of the armed services and their families since the early 1800s.

The Healthy Base Initiative began in 2013 as a demonstration project that examines select military installations’ efforts to support improved nutritional choices, increased physical activity, obesity reduction, and decreased tobacco use. HBI is also a part of Operation Live Well, which aims to make healthy living the easy choice and the social norm across the Department of Defense.

For more information, visit greatlifehawaii.com or any DECA store or health promotions office.

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Category: News