On July 2, 2021, Governor David Ige signed Act 175 (2021) into law, establishing the Hawaiʻi Farm to School Program within the Hawaiʻi Department of Education (HIDOE). The purposes of this program are to:
- Improve student health;
- Develop an educated agricultural workforce;
- Enrich the local food system through the support and increase of local food procurement for the State’s public schools;
- Accelerate garden and farm-based education for the State’s public school students; and
- Expand the relationships between public schools and agricultural communities.
This law also establishes a Farm to School Coordinator position within HIDOE, and sets a goal that by 2030, thirty percent of food served in Hawaii’s public schools will be locally sourced.
Each October, schools and communities are encouraged to celebrate Farm to School Month in Hawaiʻi, established in perpetuity via Act 10 (2017). This year’s National Farm to School Month theme of “Our Food, Our Future” centers on amplifying youth leadership around six community values – economic and environmental justice, health, racial equity, workers’ rights, and animal welfare – for a racially just food system.
Check out the Hawaiʻi Farm to School Resources Hub for lots of Hawaiʻi-based resources for developing, expanding, and sustaining high quality farm to school programming in Hawaiʻi!