STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1561

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

                  

 

RE:    S.R. No. 126

       S.D. 1

 

 

 

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.R. No. 126, S.D. 1, entitled:

 

"SENATE RESOLUTION ENCOURAGING THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO ESTABLISH A VOLUNTARY FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM,"

 

begs leave to report as follows:

 

     The purpose and intent of this measure is to improve students' access to nutritious foods in public educational institutions.

 

     Specifically, the measure:

 

     (1)  Encourages the Department of Education to establish the Hawaii Voluntary Farm to School Program by providing Complex Areas with the opportunity and option to purchase locally grown food for schools from food safety certified farms in the State; and

 

     (2)  Requests that a farmer providing products to a Department of Education Complex Area's Farm to School Program:

 

          (A)  Provide evidence that the farmer has an adequate supply of products to supply the Program for one year; and

 

          (B)  Be food safety certified and subject to all applicable state and federal safety regulations, inspections, and audits and maintain sufficient liability insurance.

 

     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from the Hawaii State Teachers Association, The Local Food Coalition, and two individuals.  The Office of Hawaiian Affairs submitted written comments on the measure.

 

     Your Committee finds that farm to school programs improve the connection that communities have with fresh, nutritious food and local farmers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and preschools.  Your Committee further finds that there are many challenges and successes that come with the implementation of a farm to school program, and that a statewide, one-size-fits-all approach may delay the implementation process.  Your Committee believes that, by allowing individual Department of Education Complex Areas to implement a farm to school program, rather than requiring statewide implementation, this measure will allow a Complex Area with the resources to implement a farm to school program to partner with its local farmers without delay.

 

     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 concurs with the intent and purpose of S.R. No. 126, S.D. 1, and recommends its adoption.

 

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

 

 

 

________________________________

JILL N. TOKUDA, Chair