HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.C.R. NO.

167

TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2011

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

requesting the department of agriculture to convene a working group to examine the federal 2008 Farm Bill amendment to the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act.

 

 

 


WHEREAS, the Department of Education is a large purchaser of food products for Child Nutrition Programs including the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, Afterschool Snack Program, and Summer Food Service Program; and

 

WHEREAS, as a large purchaser of food products, the Department of Education can make a significant impact on the local economy by purchasing produce from local farms; and

 

WHEREAS, Hawaii's schoolchildren will benefit from the purchase of local produce by consuming fresher, better tasting, and more nutritious food; and

 

WHEREAS, the procurement of produce from local farms can also serve as a "market primer" by representing a stable source of demand for local farmers, thereby creating the security required for these farmers to invest in the capital necessary to expand production capacity and access additional markets; and

 

WHEREAS, since the cost of agricultural production in Hawaii is high compared to many states due to the high cost of land coupled with the high cost of importing necessary production supplies such as fuel, fertilizer, feed, and packing materials, local farms have difficulty competing for Department of Education Child Nutrition Program Contracts; and

 

WHEREAS, the 2008 Farm Bill amended the National School Lunch Act to allow states participating in federal Child Nutrition Programs to apply a geographic preference for locally grown or locally raised agricultural products; and

WHEREAS, while the geographic preference may not inhibit free and open competition, federal regulations do not prescribe the number of preference points or maximum price percentage that may be assigned to geographic preference as long as the application of the geographic preference option leaves an appropriate number of qualified firms to compete for a contract; and

 

WHEREAS, the application of a geographic preference for local farmers will help them bid competitively on Child Nutrition Program contracts to the benefit of schoolchildren and the State economy as a whole; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2011, the Senate concurring, that the Department of Agriculture is requested to convene a working group to examine the federal 2008 Farm Bill amendment to the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group consist of the following members:

 

(1) A representative from the Department of Agriculture with knowledge of Child Nutrition Programs procurement;

 

(2) A representative from the Department of Education with knowledge of Child Nutrition Programs procurement;

 

(3) A representative from the State Procurement Office with knowledge of Child Nutrition Programs procurement;

 

(4) A representative from the Kokua Hawaii Foundation;

 

(5) A representative from the Hawaii School Garden Network; and

 

(6) A representative from Mao Organic Farms; and

 

and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group, at minimum:

 

(1) Determine an appropriate geographic preference percentage rate that maintains fair competition to be used by the Department of Education;

 

(2) Identify barriers preventing the Department of Education from using local produce, including state menu planning requirements, food and farm safety certifications, seasonal availability, local industry volatility, production limitations, and United States Department of Agriculture contracting requirements and procedures;

 

(3) Explore methods and mechanisms to reduce barriers to the Department of Education's use of local produce in Child Nutrition Programs;

 

(4) Identify ways to assist local farms to become more competitive for the Department of Education procurement process; and

 

(5) Identify existing successful partnerships between the Department of Education and farms that encourage local agriculture and use them as a model for other schools and farms;

 

and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that working group is requested to submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature, Department of Agriculture, and Department of Education no later than 20 days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2012; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group is requested to ensure that its findings and recommendations are disseminated to school procurement officers and local farmers; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Directors of Education and Agriculture, and the State Procurement Office.

 

 

 

 

OFFERED BY:

_____________________________

 

 

Report Title:

Child Nutrition Programs; Farm-to-School Programs