ABOUT THE O'AHU FARM TO SCHOOL NETWORK
From 2011-2012, the Hawai'i Farm to School and School Garden Hui (HFSSGH) held regular meetings to better understand and support the activities and programs of Hawaii's farm to school and school garden movement. Having observed the value of coordinated efforts in Hawai'i, Maui and Kaua'i counties, the need to coalesce organizations on O'ahu, into an O'ahu Farm to School Network was quickly recognized as a critical next step to advancing the statewide school garden movement.
In the spring of 2012, Grow Hawai'i and Kokua Hawai'i Foundation organized a strategic retreat to design the OFSN with stakeholders from various organizations, including: HAIS, Kokua Hawai'i Foundation, Department of Education, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Hawai'i Environmental Education Alliance, Ho'oulu 'Aina, O'ahu Master Gardener Association, Holoholo General Store, The Green House, and representatives from private, public and charter schools on O'ahu.
The core membership is comprised of the entities involved in developing the network, and is open to O'ahu-based individuals and organizations with a focus on advancing farm to school opportunities. The network holds a quarterly meeting to discuss and collaborate on projects of mutual interest. In order to support the efforts of the Hawaii Environmental Education Alliance to promote and document environmental education across the State, the OFSN has elected to share resources and announcements on the HEEA website in lieu of creating our own stand-alone forum.
In its inaugural year, the OFSN is coordinated by the Grow Hawai'i program of the Hawai'i Association of Independent Schools.
WHAT IS FARM-TO-SCHOOL?
“At its core, Farm to School is about establishing relationships between local foods and school children. Farm to School programs include (but are not limited to):
Including local products in school meals-breakfast, lunch, afterschool snacks-and in taste tests, educational tools and classrooms snacks.
Introducing food-related curriculum development and experiential learning opportunities through school gardens, farm tours, farmer in the classroom sessions, chefs in the classroom, culinary education, educational sessions for parents and community members and visits to farmers' markets.”
-The National Farm to School Network. http://www.farmtoschool.org/aboutus.php