East Hawaii News

Farm to School Initiative Seeks Local Information

April 4, 2016, 12:42 PM HST
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farm PIXABAYInformation from the agricultural community in Hawai’i is being sought for the Farm to School Initiative.

Last Friday, Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui joined with the Hawai’i State Department of Agriculture and the Hawai’i State Department of Education to launch a Request for Information for the Initiative’s market research.

The Farm to School Initiative aims to address the supply and demand issues that surround the purchasing of local food for school cafeterias, as well as connecting students with their food.

“We are hoping to hear from all sectors of our agriculture community — from ranchers to farmers – to provide us invaluable information so that we can assess how viable it is to increase local products in our schools,” said Lieutenant Governor Tsutsui, who is spearheading the Initiative.

He says the RFI is the first step for the Initiative.

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“The department is always looking for ways to improve our partnerships with our local growers,” said School Food Services Branch Director Glenna Shim. “The information gathered through the RFI will assist us in increasing our current capacity to purchase local produce.”

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Nation-wide, farm to school programs are reconnecting students to an understanding of the food system and where food is from.

“This is one avenue by which we can continue to support our local famers and local economy through teaching students about their agricultural community by way of their school menu,” said Scott Enright, Chairperson of the Hawai’i Board of Agriculture.

The last day to fill out the RFI, which can be found here, will be on April 30.

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