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Hawai‘i Department of Education seeks local food vendors for public schools : Maui Now

November 15, 2023, 4:26 AM HST

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education Farm and School Program aims to enhance food sustainability in Hawai‘i and aligns with Act 175, which focuses on improving the health of students while supporting local farmers. (PC: File photo: Hawai‘i State Department of Education)

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education is inviting interested vendors such as farmers and distributors to provide product information and feedback to assist in increasing locally sourced food in public schools.

The department has posted a Request for Information for potential vendors that could include farmers, ranchers, food hubs, processors, cooperatives, distributors and others.

Current locally sourced items in schools statewide consist of ground beef, tomato, papaya and green onion. (PC: File photo: Hawai‘i State Department of Education)

The information gathered will help in developing the subsequent Request for Proposals under the state’s procurement process to provide Hawaiʻi school cafeterias with local produce, proteins and packaged foods.

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The Department is the state’s largest institutional consumer of food products, serving over 100,000 students a day. Current locally sourced items in schools statewide consist of ground beef, tomato, papaya and green onion.

O‘ahu schools have local cucumbers and Hawai‘i Island schools have local bananas. In an effort to increase local menu offerings to students, the department most recently featured local ‘uala, (sweet potato) and poi made from local kalo in school lunches.

The Hawai‘i State Department of Education Farm and School Program aims to enhance food sustainability in Hawai‘i and aligns with Act 175, which focuses on improving the health of students while supporting local farmers.

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The Request for Information has been posted to the Hawaiʻi Awards and Notices Data System (HANDS) and is due by 4 p.m. on Nov. 27.

Source: Maui News

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