State’s Farm to School Initiative Pilot Project Earns Recognition

Farm to School Kanu Ola awardHONOLULU —  The State’s Farm to School Pilot Project was awarded the Kanu Ola award during the 2017 Hawaii Agriculture Conference.  Twelve other organizations or individuals were also recognized for their contributions to developing innovative and inspirational farm to school programs in Hawaii.

Spearheaded by Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE), the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and The Kohala Center are working collaboratively on the Farm to School Initiative.

The  Pilot Project began in the Kohala School Complex, located on Hawaii Island in the fall of 2016. As an ideal “learning and menu creating lab,” a single kitchen serves all three schools in the complex — Kohala Elementary, Kohala Intermediate and Kohala High Schools. As a rural community, they are committed to increasing their local food production. After implementation, the Project team will conduct an evaluation of successes, opportunities and obstacles to guide larger HIDOE implementation of successful Farm to School strategies (kitchen skills, procurement strategies, community connections, articulated policy, new menus, etc.). Successful Farm to School strategies learned in the Project will continue in the Project kitchen through HIDOE staff implementation, while rolling the next phase into a larger complex, to ultimately scale successful Farm to School strategies into HIDOE’s statewide operations.

The Farm to School Initiative is a public-private partnership with the Lt. Governor’s office, HDOA, Hawaii State Department of Health, HIDOE, Dorrance Family Foundation, Hawaii Appleseed, Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Kokua Hawaii FoundationThe Kohala Center and Ulupono Initiative.