Scratch-cooked student meals to feature Maui-grown pineapples in May


The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is incorporating Maui-grown pineapples in student meals statewide as part of the ‘Aina Pono Hawai‘i State Harvest of the Month program this month. Recreate this delicious meal at home by following our Sweet and Sour Pineapple Pork recipe.

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is incorporating Maui-grown pineapples in student meals statewide as part of the 'Aina Pono Hawai'i State Harvest of the Month program in May.

"Instead of serving pineapples as fresh fruit on the side, our schools will be using locally grown Maui Gold pineapples in scratch-cooked student lunches statewide," said Albert Scales, program administrator, School Food Services Branch. "We experimented with different recipes and found the pineapples worked well as a main dish in our Sweet and Sour Pineapple Pork."

Maui Gold pineapples are grown on the slopes of Haleakala, and always hand picked. The locally owned and operated company was created by former Maui Pineapple Co. employees committed to saving the 100-year tradition of pineapple on Maui. Local farmers have been cultivating the Maui Gold variety for more than 25 years.

HIDOE has been increasing local agriculture through its 'Aina Pono Hawai'i State Harvest of the Month program since December 2017. Since then, scratch-cooked student meals have included locally grown beef, bananas, papayas and 'ulu (breadfruit). Scratch cooking incorporates fresh, local ingredients instead of using of processed foods, which contain more additives and preservatives. By cooking healthy meals from scratch, schools are also using less canned foods.

"The 'Aina Pono Hawai'i State Farm to School programs at Kohala and Mililani have gained a lot of popularity and interest among students and parents," said Scales, "however, there are challenges around supply and demand. There is not enough locally grown fruits and vegetables to feed 256 schools on a daily basis. That's where our Harvest of the Month program comes into action – introducing students across all islands to a new locally grown product in a scratch-cooked dish once a month."

For more information on the 'Aina Pono programs, click here.

'Aina Pono Hawai'i State Harvest of the Month Recipe: Sweet & Sour Pineapple Pork

Want to recreate this delicious meal at home? Here's the recipe: 

Sweet and Sour Pineapple PorkServings: 12


  • 2 pounds pork butt
  • ¾ cup shoyu (soy sauce)
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic (granulated)
  • ¾ teaspoon fresh ground ginger root
  • ⅓ tablespoon black pepper
  • 1½ cup distilled vinegar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • 1 medium green bell pepper (cut into bite-size pieces)
  • ½ medium round onion (cut into bite-size pieces)
  • 12 oz. local fresh pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch


  1. Cut pork into 1½-inch cubes.
  2. Preheat oil in pot.
  3. Add cut pork.
  4. Season with garlic, ginger and black pepper. Cook to golden brown.
  5. Mix vinegar, shoyu, brown sugar and pineapple juice.
  6. Add mixture to pork.
  7. Bring pork with sauce to boil.
  8. Turn heat down and simmer until pork is tender, but not overcooked.
  9. Add bell peppers, onions, and slurry (mixture of water and cornstarch).
  10. Bring to boil to properly thicken sauce.
  11. Turn off heat.
  12. Stir in cut pineapple.

Nutrition information for Sweet and Sour Pineapple Pork (excluding rice)  Serving Size: 6 oz.; 293 calories; 17 g total fat (saturated fat: 6 g); 24 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 10 g protein; 668 mg sodium.

(Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. Nutrient levels may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients, etc. Value of the menu item is listed in grams (g) of carbohydrates rounded to the nearest whole number. While we do our best to ensure accuracy, we make no representation or warranty regarding the information contained in this document. Although we are providing nutritional information for our menus, the information in this document is for informational purposes only. No information, services or materials offered shall be construed as or understood to be medical advice or care.)

Contact Information

Donalyn Dela Cruz

Phone: 808-586-3232


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