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Lt. Governor’s Farm To School Initiative Goes to Kohala

January 04, 2017

Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation has partnered with several organizations to bring a school food pilot project to the schools of the Kohala Complex on Hawaiʻi Island. Spearheaded by Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, the Farm to School Initiative is a public-private partnership with the Lt. Governor’s office, Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture, Hawaiʻi State Department of Health, Hawaiʻi State Department of Education, Dorrance Family Foundation, Hawaiʻi Appleseed, Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, The Kohala Center, Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation, and Ulupono Initiative. Chef Greg Christian, president and founder of Beyond Green Sustainable Food Partners has been selected to work with Cafeteria Manager Priscilla Galan and her staff to bring delicious local, fresh scratch-cooked food to students. 

Chef Greg and Cafeteria Manager Galan have been working to develop recipes that incorporate more fresh food that kids both love and are familiar with into the daily menu as well as revamping favorites such as pizza and kalua pig with cabbage. Taste testings on the experimental menu based on recipes co-created by the cafeteria staff and Chef Greg are conducted daily at the Kohala Complex schools. Some dishes that a number of classes have taste tested include a new pizza recipe, pork adobo with ulu/garlic crisp, chicken adobo sliders with green papaya, and more. Produce for the experimental menu is being sourced from various local farms and markets.

The goal of the Farm to School Initiative is to address the supply and demand issues surrounding the purchasing of local food for our State DOE school cafeterias. The Initiative also aims to systematically increase State purchasing of local food for our school menus as well as connect our keiki with the ʻāina through their food, using products from the local agricultural community. Read on for more information.