Nation and State Celebrate a Decade of Growing the Farm to School Movement

October 2020 marks two important 10-year anniversaries on the national and local levels: designation of October as National Farm to School Month by the United States Congress in 2010, and the formation of the Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui! The Hui is a program of Hawai‘i Public Health Institute (HIPHI) and a statewide network of public-private partners with a collective mission to strengthen Hawai‘i’s farm to school movement, including support for education, school gardens and school farms, and local food procurement.

In 2017, the Hawai‘i State Legislature and Governor David Ige passed Act 10, establishing in perpetuity the month of October as Farm to School Month in Hawai‘i in order to promote public awareness of the state’s farm to school initiatives, including:

  • Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, Farm to State Program
  • Hawai‘i Department of Education School Food Services Branch, ‘Aina Pono Initiative
  • University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), Farm to School Program

Last October, Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui hosted five HIPHI Perspectives Trips to various farm to school sites on O‘ahu and Maui. While National Farm to School Month looks different this year, there are still many ways to engage! In partnership with the National Farm to School Network, we invite you to join thousands of schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities, and organizations across the country to celebrate farm to school in meaningful ways by taking the following actions:

  • Nominate a Community Food Champion: Who are your community members — farmers, cafeteria workers, teachers, gardeners, bus drivers, volunteers, advocates, and others — that are feeding children and families, supporting local food systems, and going above and beyond in 2020? Nominate them to receive a $500 honorarium and be named a National Farm to School Network Community Food Champion. Nominate your Champions here
  • Participate in a Virtual Movement Meeting, October 14: Join National Farm to School Network for a virtual Movement Meeting on Wednesday, Oct.14 from 1-3pm ET (7-9am Hawai‘i time), featuring Karen Washington, food justice activist, for deep conversation and action-oriented reflection on racial justice in the farm to school movement and wider food system. Learn more and register here.
  • Spread the Word: Shout out about farm to school and share what you’re doing for National Farm to School Month with the hashtags #F2SMonth and #farmtoschool on social media. Follow the National Farm to School Network on their blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Download the Sharing Toolkit for sample messages and graphics to share with your community. 

Check out the National Farm to School Month Celebration Toolkit for more activity ideas, and read on to tap into our local efforts and events!