If you want keiki to understand the farm-to-plate concept, why not go straight to their stomachs?
At schools across the pae ‘āina, a new partnership known as the “Hoʻopili ʻAi Campaign – Uniting Keiki & Hawaiʻi Food Crops” is introducing students of all ages to Hawaiʻi-grown foods like kalo (taro), ʻulu (breadfruit), and ʻuala (sweet potato). Each classroom is given a box containing education materials and 25 individual pre-packaged produce for students and families to try at home.
The goal is to connect kids with their food and with the ‘āina, and October is Farm to School month, explains Lydi Morgan Bernal of the Dept. of Human Nutrition, Food & Animal Sciences. The hope is to build an interactive, experiential food systems lesson that students will enjoy.
To provide such resources, CTAHR has partnered with the Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Cooperative, Hawaiʻi Farm to School Hui, Chef Hui, and Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation.
“Students get to experience food in a variety of ways,” says Lydi, CTAHR’s Farm to School Coordinator for O‘ahu. “What this campaign includes are education videos. It includes a very simple, easy lesson plan to introduce students to the nutritional value of the foods — and to the farmers that grow them. And then what it culminates in is having them actually taste the foods.”