STAND. COM. REP. NO. 563
RE: H.B. No. 250
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Labor & Government Operations, to which was referred H.B. No. 250, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO FARM TO SCHOOL PROCUREMENT,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to require the Department of Education to establish rules for the procurement of goods and services related to the administration of food programs at public schools that incorporate a geographic preference for unprocessed locally grown and locally raised food products.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture, Hawai‘i Primary Care Association, North Shore Economic Vitality Partnership, Hawai‘i Alliance for Progressive Action, Malama Kaua‘i, Ka Ohana O Na Pua, Hawai‘i Farm Bureau, 350Hawaii.org, Center for Getting Things Started, Hawai‘i Public Health Institute, Grow Some Good, Hawai‘i Farmers Union United, Ulupono Initiative, Chamber of Sustainable Commerce, Kauai Climate Action Coalition, and six individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Education.
Your Committee finds that building farm to school connections can improve student access to healthy, local foods, provide numerous public health benefits, and contribute to the local agricultural industry. Your Committee further finds that local food procurement provides economic benefits to local food systems by providing a long-term revenue stream for farmers and other food producers, promoting market diversification, and increasing income and economic growth opportunities for individual farmers. This measure will facilitate the increase of unprocessed locally grown and raised agricultural products and allow school complexes to regionalize their menus.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor & Government Operations that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 250, H.D. 1, and recommends that it be referred to your Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor & Government Operations,
SCOT Z. MATAYOSHI, Chair