The Kohala Complex’s cafeteria team and Chef Greg have been focusing on procuring local produce since the Hawaii Farm to School Initiative began in 2016. As a result, more school meals are being served with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, such as sloppy joes, kalua pig and cabbage, chicken stir-fry, taco salad, baked ziti with meat.
Currently, bananas, papayas, oranges, tangerines, and tangelos are being purchased from HIP Agriculture, located in Kapaau, Hawaii Island. Cabbage from Aloun Farms, cucumbers from Akea Farm, and tomatoes from Sugarland Growers are also being purchased from farms located on Oahu. In addition to the veggies, ground beef from Big Island Beef and tortillas from Sinaloa Tortillas in Honolulu are being bought, among many other items from local vendors. Milk from Meadow Gold Dairies on Hawaii island is served with meals.
Purchasing local food within budget is an ongoing process and the team is continuously building relationships with local farmers and vendors. Buying locally supports local and small businesses. Moreover, because locally-purchased produce travels fewer miles, it is harvested when ripe and when flavor is at its peak, resulting in better tasting meals.