THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

38

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

URGING THE HAWAII STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SCHOOL FOOD SERVICES BRANCH TO ADOPT AN ADDENDUM TO ITS AGREEMENTS FOR THE AINA PONO HAWAII STATE FARM TO SCHOOL PROGRAM REQUIRING THE PROCUREMENT OF GOODS AND/OR SERVICES FROM FOOD HUBS.

 

 


WHEREAS, Act 55, Session Laws of Hawaii 2013, amended the objectives and policies of the Hawaii State Planning Act to encourage the purchase and use of Hawaii-grown food and food products by residents, businesses, and governmental bodies; and

 

WHEREAS, the Hawaii Department of Education serves over one hundred thousand nutritionally balanced, affordable meals per day to over eighty-five percent of the youth in Hawaii; and

 

WHEREAS, The Department's School Food Services Branch supports public schools statewide to ensure that their meal programs comply with federal and state child nutrition standards; and

 

WHEREAS, farm-to-school activities can improve students' physical activity, academic performance, school meal participation, preference for fresh fruits and vegetables, and other healthy behaviors, thereby reducing the risk of chronic diseases and other health conditions later in life; and

 

WHEREAS, farm-to school programs also can increase educational opportunities and support a nutritious school environment; and

 

WHEREAS, Act 218, Session Laws of Hawaii 2015, spearheaded by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, established a farm-to-school program within the Department of Agriculture 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; and

 

WHEREAS, the Department of Education and Office of the Lieutenant Governor rebranded the farm-to-school program into the Aina Pono Hawaii state farm to school program in 2018 to unite the Department of Education School Food Services Branch's existing health and nutrition education programs, such as Aina Pono Harvest of the Month, test kitchens, meal programs, menu planning, and school gardens; and

 

WHEREAS, this farm-to-school initiative, through Aina Pono, develops affordable and healthy menus using fresh, local foods for the students attending the Kohala School Complex on the Big Island and, since 2018, Mililani High, Mililani Uka Elementary, and Mililani Waena Elementary schools on Oahu; and

 

WHEREAS, farmers in Hawaii face many challenges on their way to achieving economic sustainability; and

 

WHEREAS, food hubs provide these small to mid-sized farmers and producers, who are often unable to afford or manage trucks, warehouses, processing space, and storage spaces, with facilities for aggregation, storage, processing, distribution, and marketing support; and

 

WHEREAS, supporting local farmers is essential to the economic development and self-reliance of the State; and

 

WHEREAS, by helping local farmers become or remain economically sustainable, food hubs increase local farmers' ability to participate in larger agricultural markets, while increasing consumers' access to fresh, locally grown food and value-added products; and

 

WHEREAS, food hubs support Hawaii's rural communities and present opportunities for new generations of local farmers to work and live in Hawaii; and

 

WHEREAS, increasing the procurement of local agricultural products for schools promotes local farmers, encourages the local agriculture industry, and supports government's goal of doubling local food production and improving food security for the entire State; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the House of Representatives concurring, that the Hawaii State Department Of Education School Food Services Branch is urged to adopt an addendum to its agreement for the Aina Pono Hawaii state farm to school program requiring the procurement of goods and services from food hubs; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Department of Education is urged to include food hubs as part of the overall procurement strategy for goods and services related to the Aina Pono Hawaii state farm to school program, however, goods and services are not required to be exclusively procured from food hubs; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Education, Superintendent of Education, Chairperson of the Board of Agriculture, Administrator for the State Procurement Office, Director of the School Food Services Branch, and Executive Director of the State Charter Commission.

Report Title:

DOE Food Services Branch; Aina Pono; Procurement; Food Hubs