Farm to School Celebrates Legislative Wins
Last Saturday, May 20, the Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui convened a multigenerational group of community leaders, public health workers, educators, youth, and legislators at Hoa ‘Āina O Mākaha to celebrate recent key legislative wins for Hawai‘i’s farm to school movement.
Those wins include the passage of Act 175 (2021) to establish the Hawai‘i Farm to School Program in the Hawai‘i Department of Education, and SB2182 to fund a School Garden Coordinator position in the HIDOE Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design.
The ceremony started with a breakfast of locally-sourced fruits and banana bread from Kahumana Farm Cafe. From there, Hoa ‘Āina’s patron saint, Father Luigi “Gigi” Cocquio led the Hui over to the farm’s Hale Haumana for a welcoming oli (Hawaiian chant). Once the listening circle and talk story were finished, Father Gigi guided the group in the planting of an ‘ulu (breadfruit) tree to close out the ceremony.
“This is truly a full-circle moment for Hawai‘i’s farm to school movement,” said Lydi Bernal, coordinator of the Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui. “It was at this very same farm that our Hui was founded 12 years ago. This is a major milestone toward achieving ‘āina-based education for all of Hawai‘i’s students. But there is still so much to do and we need greater investment and more people to help accomplish this work.”
The Hawaiʻi Farm to School Hui is a statewide network comprising five island networks and over 40 public-private entities dedicated to strengthening Hawai‘i’s farm to school movement. The Hawaiʻi Farm to School Hui formed in 2010 and is a program of Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute. To learn more about the Hui visit hiphi.org/jointhehui