Hawai‘i Farm to School and School Garden Hui
School Learning Gardens are not a new idea for Hawai‘i. Until the late 1960s, school gardens were common outdoor classrooms in Hawai‘i’s schools, growing food for children and families, providing physical activity, and helping to supply the school cafeteria. These gardens also connected children to the land and the idea of self-reliance, ecosystem health, and stewardship. In the past decade, principals, teachers, parents and communities across Hawai‘i are rebuilding school gardens and working to integrate place-based experiential learning into the school curriculum. Ma ka hana ka ‘ike - children learn by "doing". There is a clear and growing desire in communities across Hawai‘i to reconnect our children to the land, healthy foods, and increased physical activity. A healthy keiki is ready to learn.
According to the new report "Growing School Learning Gardens: A Summary of the 2012 Statewide School Garden Survey" (PDF, 1.5 megabytes), there are 168 school gardens involving 21,577 students and 830 Teachers on 30 acres of land. (The Survey results for Hawai‘i Island only are also available: "2012 Farm to School & School Garden Survey Summary: Hawai‘i Island" (PDF, 1.2 megabytes))
Across the nation, Farm to School Programs have sprouted in all 50 states. (See National Farm to School Network to learn more.) Farm to School Programs combine healthy eating in school settings with a coordinated approach to improve children’s daily nutrition by making healthy changes to school lunches and snack programs. Farm to School Programs integrate nutritional education through school gardens and wellness policies, increase opportunities for physical activity, and connect students to their local agricultural communities and farms. Hawai‘i does not yet have an official Farm to School Program, but the USDA Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Morning Snack Program is beginning to build new relationships. This program is now in over 50 schools across the state, and interest is building to raise our capacity to increase the health of our children by providing fresh, locally grown food in schools.
Read the Hawaii Child Nutrition Programs "Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program" brochure.
HFSSGH Strategic Plan 2012-2013
HFSSGH 2012 Baseline School Garden Survey Summary
HFSSGH Member Lydi Morgan-Bernal's Essay:
"Na Keiki O Ka ‘Āina"
Statewide School Learning Garden Symposium
Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy, Hawai‘i Island
June 7-8, 2013
Kū ‘Āina Pā School Learning Garden Training Program: Second Cohort
Begins June, 2013
Download the Hui Member flyer
Call to Action for support of the Federal Farm to School Act of 2015
Learn about the Farm To School Act of 2015