Lt. Governor Chin Discusses The ʻAina Pono Hawaii State Farm to School Program on Bytemarks Cafe

Recently, Lt. Governor Chin joined Burt Lum and Ryan Ozawa on Hawaii Public Radio’s Bytemarks Cafe to discuss the ʻAina Pono Hawaii State Farm to School Program.  Also included were Mililani High School Vice-Principal Andrea Moore and 2017-18 President and Associated Students of Mililani High School 2017-2018 President Alyssa Yamada-Barretto.  ʻAina Pono is the State of Hawai’i’s innovative farm to school program established to improve childhood health, support local agriculture, and increase Hawai’i’s food security by increasing the amount of nutritious, fresh local food served in school meals statewide while decreasing food waste.  After beginning the pilot program in Kohala, ʻAina Pono was extended to Mililani High, Mililani Waena Elementary, and Mililani Uka Elementary Schools in January.

Objectives of the program are to

    • Increase HIDOE’s purchasing of local food in schools (target 40%)
    • Increase student participation / # of students eating school meals (target: 5%)
    • Increase student consumption of healthy foods (target: 60% fresh)
    • Program will be cost neutral over time (overproduction will not exceed 5%)\

The ʻAina Pono Program includes menu development, training cafeteria staff, waste management, supply chain development, procurement innovation, community outreach, nutrition/health/agriculture education in schools.  During the upcoming (2018-2019) school year, the Lt. Governor’s Office and the DOE’s School Food Services Branch (SFSB) will create a 5-year action plan to guide the implementation of ‘Aina Pono.  SFSB will also begin statewide rollout of ‘Aina Pono with new menus featuring more local food and scratch-cooked recipes, new solicitations for fresh local food, and training for cafeteria staff.