Maui News

Farm to School Program Features Kalo on Food Service Menu

December 4, 2018, 10:11 AM HST
* Updated December 4, 3:33 PM
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The ‘Āina Pono Hawai‘i State Farm to School Program celebrated a milestone on Kauaʻi with ‘Ele‘ele Elementary School becoming the first Hawai‘i Department of Education school in recent memory to officially serve kalo (taro) on its food service menu.

‘Ele‘ele Elementary Principal Paul Zina invited Lt. Governor Chin, Kauaʻi Mayor Bernard Carvalho and Kauaʻi Mayor-elect Derek Kawakami to help serve kalo to the students which was prepared in a Poi Breakfast Parfait, made with poi, plain yogurt, pineapple chunks and granola.


Students and faculty at ‘Ele‘ele Elementary School on Kaua‘i visit the kalo patch near the school as part of the school’s new “Farm to School” program to incorporate native and locally sourced food products in the lunch menu. PC: Office of the Lt. Governor.

Students and faculty at ‘Ele‘ele Elementary School enjoy the new kalo lunch menu items as part of the school’s new state-sponsored “Farm to School” lunch program. PC: The Office of the Lt. Governor.

Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Kaua‘i Mayor-Elect Derek Kawakami, Lt. Governor Doug Chin, and ‘Ele‘ele elementary school principal Paul Zina attended to commemorate this historic event. PC: Office of the Lt. Governor.

“It’s very gratifying to see how much the ‘Āina Pono Hawai‘i State Farm to School Program has revolutionized school meals,” said Lt. Governor Doug Chin. “So many students, farmers and state legislators have already praised the program for providing healthy meals made with locally produced ingredients.”

They also talked story with Principal Zina and Kaina Makua, of the Aloha ‘Āina Poi Company, about the importance of sustaining local farmers and producers so they can continue to supply public schools with fresh, local ingredients.

One example was in the taro field right there on the ‘Ele‘ele school campus, where a Kumu Sabra Kauka and Kumu Chad Shimmelfennig’s fifth grade class presented a cultural program to celebrate the land and the coming together to be able to feed keiki healthy food while they’re in school.


Everyone wants the program to succeed and grow, which has been the goal for the Office of the Lieutenant Governor since it launched the program in 2015 and began working with public and private sectors.


Lt. Governor Chin, the Hawai‘i State Department of Education and the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture have been working together with private stakeholders to transform HIDOE’s School Food Services Branch.

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