THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

1251

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

S.D. 2

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO THE HAWAII FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds 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, farm to school program activities support a nutritious school food environment that encourages students to make healthier food choices. With more than eighty-five per cent 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.

The legislature further finds that concrete steps have been taken in recent years to develop and sustain a farm to school program in the State. The Hawaii farm to school program was established pursuant to Act 218, Session Laws of Hawaii 2015, within the department of agriculture to, among other things, improve student health, develop an educated agricultural workforce, and expand the relationships between public schools and the agricultural communities. In 2018, the legislature also funded a position for the farm to school coordinator within the office of the chairperson of the board of agriculture to ensure that programs and positions relating to the farm to school program are aligned to properly execute, sustain, and grow the program.

Since the passage of Act 218, Session Laws of Hawaii 2015, the department of education, in collaboration with the office of the lieutenant governor, the department of agriculture, the university of Hawaii, and community partners established pilot programs using strategic procurement adjustments to increase the supply of locally-grown and raised foods in the school meal program.

However, while the department of agriculture has two established farm to school positions, the department does not have a formal program. Aina Pono is the department of education school food services branch's commitment to student health, protecting the environment, and advancing farm to school by purchasing fresh and local foods, greening school cafeterias, reducing waste, and supporting school gardens and nutrition, agriculture, health, and food education. In 2016, the board of education amended its school food services policy to state that every public school shall provide food services that meet students' nutritional needs at a minimum charge. However, the program does not have a goal-oriented approach or indicators to successfully provide local meals to students. Currently, it is estimated that three per cent of food served in public schools is locally sourced.

The purpose of this Act is to require that the department of education meet the local farm to school meal goal of fifteen per cent of food served in public schools to be locally sourced by 2025 and thirty per cent by 2030.

SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to subpart C of part II to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"302A-    Farm to school program. (a) The department shall work with the department of agriculture to ensure that the department meets the local farm to school meal goals of:

(1) Fifteen per cent of food served in public schools to be locally sourced by 2025, as measured by the per cent of the total food cost; and

(2) Thirty per cent of food served in public schools to be locally sourced by 2030, as measured by the per cent of the total food cost,

with fresh local agricultural products in accordance with the farm to school program established in section 141-11.

(b) No later than twenty days before each regular session, the department shall submit to the legislature an annual report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation and information relating to:

(1) Percentage of food served in public schools that are locally sourced;

(2) Costs associated with, and any savings from, the farm to school program established pursuant to this section;

(3) List of large purchases of local products and vendors of purchase;

(4) List of meals on each school's menu, highlighting the meals that contain the largest percentage of locally sourced foods;

(5) Percentage of fresh food served versus the percentage of processed food served;

(6) Descriptions of any training provided to instruct cafeteria staff on cooking from scratch; and

(7) Percentage of food purchased from the department's largest distributors."

SECTION 3. Section 141-11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"[[]141-11[]] Hawaii farm to school program; farm to school coordinator. (a) There is established within the department of agriculture a Hawaii farm to school program. The purpose of the farm to school program shall be to:

(1) Improve student health;

(2) Develop an educated agricultural workforce;

(3) Enrich the local food system through the support and increase of local food procurement for the State's public schools and other institutions;

(4) Accelerate garden and farm-based education for the State's public school students; and

(5) Expand the relationships between public schools and agricultural communities.

(b) The Hawaii farm to school program shall be headed by a farm to school coordinator who shall work in collaboration with the appropriate stakeholders to address the issues of supply, demand, procurement, and consumption of Hawaii-grown foods in state facilities, primarily education facilities, and take reasonable steps to incorporate more agriculture and nutrition education in schools.

(c) The department of agriculture shall work with the department of education to ensure that the department of education meets the local farm to school meal goals of:

(1) Fifteen per cent of food served in public schools to comprise locally sourced products by 2025, as measured by the per cent of the total cost of food; and

(2) Thirty per cent of food served in public schools to comprise locally sourced products by 2030, as measured by the per cent of the total cost of food.

(d) For the purposes of this section:

"Fresh local agricultural product" means fruits, vegetables, nuts, coffee, eggs, poultry and poultry products, livestock and livestock products, milk and milk products, aquacultural and maricultural products, and horticultural products that are one hundred per cent grown, raised, or harvested in the State.

"Local value-added processed, agricultural, or food product" means at least fifty-one per cent of the product's primary agricultural product is grown, raised, and harvested in the State.

"Locally sourced product" means fresh local agricultural products; or local value-added processed, agricultural, or food products.

"Primary agricultural product" means the major agricultural product in a processed or value-added agricultural, or food product."

SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.


 


 

Report Title:

Department of Agriculture; DOE; Farm to School Program; Goals

 

Description:

Requires the Department of Education to meet the local farm to school meal goal of fifteen per cent of food served in public schools to be locally sourced by 2025 and thirty per cent by 2030. Requires the Department of Education to report to the Legislature. (SD2)

 

 

 

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