THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
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 (Act 218), 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 assure 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, 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 positions appropriated for 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 to students' nutritional needs at a minimum charge. However, the program does not have a goal-oriented approach nor 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 authorize 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.
SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§302A- Farm-to-school program. The department of education shall work with the department of agriculture to ensure that the department of education shall meet the local farm to school meal goals of:
(1) Fifteen per cent of food served in public schools to be locally sourced by 2025; and
(2) Thirty per cent of food served in public schools to be locally sourced by 2030,
with fresh local agricultural products in accordance with the farm to school program established in section 141-11, Hawaii Revised Statutes."
SECTION 3. Section 141-11, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
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 shall meet the local farm to school meal goals of:
(1) Fifteen per cent of food served in public schools to be locally sourced products by 2025; and
(2) Thirty per cent of food served in public schools to be locally sourced products by 2030.
(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 one hundred per cent grown, raised, and harvested in the State.
"Local value-added processed, agricultural, or food product" shall be defined to mean at least fifty-one per cent of the product's primary agricultural product shall be grown, raised, and harvested in the State.
"Locally sourced product" means fresh local agricultural product; or local value-added processed, agricultural, or food product.
"Primary agricultural product" means the major agricultural product in a processed or value-added agricultural, or food product."
SECTION 4. No later than twenty days before the regular session of 2022, and each regular session thereafter, the department of education shall submit an annual report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, that shall also include but is not limited to information relating to:
(1) Percentage of food served in public schools that are locally sourced;
(2) Costs associated with program and any savings;
(3) List of large purchases of local products and vendors of purchase;
(4) List of meals on the school menu, highlighting the meals that contain the largest percentage of locally sourced foods;
(5) Percentage of fresh food served versus the per cent of processed food served;
(6) Description of training done to prepare cafeteria staff for cooking from scratch; and
(7) Percentage of food purchased from the department of education's largest distributors.
SECTION 5. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Department of Agriculture; Department of Education; Farm to School Program; Goals
Authorizes 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 to report to the Legislature. (SD1)
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