STAND. COM. REP. NO. 803

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

                  

 

RE:    S.B. No. 376

       S.D. 2

 

 

 

Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii

 

Madam:

 

     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 376, S.D. 1, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO A FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

     The purpose and intent of this measure is to establish a Hawaii farm to school program within the Department of Agriculture and create two farm to school coordinator positions.

 

     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the University of Hawaii, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Hawaii Public Health Institute, Hawaii Farmers Union United, National Farm to School Network, Hawaii Island School Garden Network, Maui School Garden Network, Hawaii Farm to School and School Garden Hui, Kokua Hawaii Foundation, Hawaii Green Growth, Beyond Organic Consulting, Inc., One Island Sustainable Living, The Local Food Coalition, Ai Pohaku, Ilio Lani Farm, LLC, Waihuena Farm, and seventy-six individuals.  The Department of Agriculture and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs submitted written comments on the measure.

 

     Your Committee finds that farm to school programs promote the cultivating and purchasing of locally grown foods to be used in school cafeterias.  Farm to school programs can improve students' physical activity, school meal participation, preference for fresh fruits and vegetables, academic performance, and behavior.  Farm to school programs that implement on-campus school gardens can provide the students with experiential learning in science, business, agriculture, history, and other core academic subjects.

 

     Your Committee notes that Hawaii's economy is dependent on our local farmers.  Local farmers that participate in a farm to school program stand to benefit from a steady clientele of schools that purchase their agricultural products.  A farm to school program will also encourage and invigorate the local agriculture industry and help Hawaii achieve its food sustainability and security goals.

 

     Your Committee has amended this measure by:

 

(1)  Deleting the farm to school coordinator position in the Department of Education and the appropriation to fund the position;

 

(2)  Changing the amount appropriated for the farm to school coordinator position in the Department of Agriculture to an unspecified amount; and

 

(3)  Changing the effective date to July 1, 2050, to facilitate further discussion on the measure.

 

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 376, S.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 376, S.D. 2.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,

 

 

 

________________________________

JILL N. TOKUDA, Chair