SENATORS HELP KICK START FARM-TO-SCHOOL EXPANDED PROGRAM
Senate President Ronald Kouchi (Dist. 8 - Kaua‘i, Ni‘ihau) along with Senators Michelle Kidani (Dist. 18 - Mililani Town, portion of Waipi‘o Gentry, Waikele, Village Park, Royal Kunia), and Mike Gabbard (Dist. 20 - Kapolei, Makakilo, and portions of ‘Ewa, Kalaeloa, and Waipahu) were on hand to welcome the innovative initiative, ‘Aina Pono Hawai‘i State Farm-to-School program, at Mililani High School on March 29.
Launched previously in the Kohala School complex on Hawai‘i Island, Mililani High School enthusiastically joins this program to spearhead the serving of fresh, locally grown food to the Hawai‘i Department of Education’s (HIDOE) second largest food production site—providing 2,500 school lunches to 1,000 high school students and an additional 1,500 students at Mililani Uka Elementary and Mililani Waena Elementary.
The original Farm-to-School initiative was introduced by the Lieutenant Governor’s Office in 2015 after SB376 was signed into law as Act 218. The rebranded name and new logo of ‘Aina Pono is designed to unite all of the programs operated by HIDOE School Food Services Branch. The Hawaiian word ‘aina, without the kahakō, refers to eating or meal. Pono is righteousness. Eating well and living in right harmony is reflected in all areas of life. This program is pivotal in reinforcing not only healthy eating, but in producing harmonious relationships with the environment and one another for Hawai‘i’s students, teachers, and families.
The ‘Aina Pono Harvest of the month program will also highlight a new local product in student meals, and ‘ulu (breadfruit) is the featured food for March and April 2018.