HONOLULU – This month, Hawaii public schools statewide have included locally grown beef in school lunches as part of an effort to incorporate more fresh local agriculture in student meals.
"The Hawaii Cattlemen's Council and the Hawaii Beef Industry Council are working with the Department of Education and the Office of the Lieutenant Governor so that we can help get more Farm to School products involved," said Hawaii Cattlemen's Council Managing Director Dale Sandlin. "We look forward to continuing to provide local beef to our public schools on the neighbor islands."
Today at Kalani High School, students, teachers and faculty enjoyed eating the locally grown beef in their teri loco moco lunch. There was a special connection to this school since the Kalani High staff created the Paniolo Beef Patty recipe.
"I think that it's really good that we're starting to bring in more local agriculture and food products into schools because it supports local companies and Hawaii's economy," said Ryder Tanaka, a Kalani High senior. "It's also really important that we know where our food is coming from so we can make the right decisions about our diet."
Approximately 18,000 lbs. of local ground beef will be used to make teri hamburger steak for elementary and middle school students, while high school students will enjoy a teri loco moco.
"On behalf of the Lieutenant Governor's office, we just want to thank the Department of Education for stepping up and working with us to deliver this program," said Jayson Watts, senior advisor. "If you think about the size of what we're trying to do with the DOE, it's a 100,000 meals per day, it's 18 million meals per year. It's literally the largest restaurant chain in the state."
In January 2018, the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) will be incorporating local fresh bananas in our school lunches.
"The vision for School Food Services Branch is to increase our local produce from 20 percent to 40 percent statewide," said HIDOE Program Administrator Albert Scales. "We want to encourage our students to eat more fresh, healthy, local foods when possible, as well as introduce them to new foods that they may not have eaten before."
For more information about Farm to School, click here.