STAND. COM. REP. NO. 457

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

 

RE: S.B. No. 1251

S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirty-First State Legislature

Regular Session of 2021

State of Hawaii

 

Sir:

 

Your Committees on Education and Agriculture and Environment, to which was referred S.B. No. 1251 entitled:

 

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

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

The purpose and intent of this measure is to authorize the Department of Education to meet the local farm to school meal goal of fifteen percent of food served in public schools to be locally sourced by 2025 and thirty percent by 2030.

 

Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Education; Department of Agriculture; Hawaii Public Health Institute; Hawaii Ulu Cooperative; Ulupono Initiative; Local Food Coalition; Hawaii Food Industry Association; Hawaii Farm Bureau; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.; Hawaii Primary Care Association; Americans for Democratic Action; Pono Hawaii Initiative; Blue Zones Project; and forty-one individuals.

 

Your Committees find that the Farm to School Program provides students with an agricultural education, which contributes to improved attendance, academic achievement, and behavior, while also increasing opportunities for place-based experiential learning, physical activity, and active participation in the school meal program. In addition, the Farm to School Program activities support a nutritious school food environment that encourages students to make healthier food choices. With more than eighty-five percent of students in Hawaii attending public schools, participation in farm to school activities increases students' familiarity with local foods, access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and the likelihood that students will make healthier choices at home. Currently, it is estimated that three percent of food served in public schools is locally sourced. This measure will increase the percentage of locally sourced food served in public schools in Hawaii.

 

Your Committees note that procurement exceptions may be required to effectuate the goals in this measure.

 

Your Committees have amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.

 

As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Education and Agriculture and Environment that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1251, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1251, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Education and Agriculture and Environment,

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair

 

________________________________

MICHELLE N. KIDANI, Chair