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Hawaiʻi Youth Food Council goes to Climate Future Forum

On Saturday, December 3rd, Hawaiʻi Youth Food Council (HYFC) Coordinator Olivia Whittemore and HYFC Fellow Risa Goto from the Hawaiʻi Farm to School Hui were invited to participate in the Climate Future Forum at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol. 

The goal of the event was to inspire youth to actively engage in the 2023 state legislative session around climate policy and legislation. Educators, policymakers, youth and nonprofit representatives spent the day together exploring the impacts of policy interventions on climate change in Hawaiʻi and getting to share personal climate stories and network with one another and with policymakers.  

Olivia and Risa co-led a Policy Development Working Group on Regenerative Food Systems with Kelsey Amos, PhD, Co-Founder, and COO at Purple Maiʻa Foundation. They were assisted by Food+ Policy alumni, Kahealani Acosta, and Tierra Bartolotti. Together the working group of about a dozen youth, educators, and farmers identified policy priorities around food insecurity and the Farm to School movement. The hope is to continue exploring these concepts and possibly see them explored in the 2023 state legislative session. 

HYFC Member Shania Wilson had this to share about the event: “This day was full of wisdom, creativity, and networking. As someone who wasn’t very knowledgeable in the legislative area, I got a great outlook on the process and how to make real decisions with impact. One of my favorite parts was hearing food and climate stories first hand from a variety of intelligent people. Thank you to everyone who made this possible!” 

This event was organized through a myriad of supporters and volunteers with the support of Sierra Club, Ulupono Initiative, Hawaiʻi Youth Climate Coalition, Hawaiʻi Food+ Policy, Hawaiʻi Youth Food Council, Blue Planet, Citizens Climate Lobby and more. We want to especially thank Debbie Millikan, PhD, Director of Sustainability Punahou School, for inviting us to participate and to take part in leading a working group session. We also want to thank amazing youth organizers for all their hard work and dedication that made this event possible. 

Learn more at the Climate Future Forum Website: https://www.climatefuturehawaii.org/ 

For more information about the Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui please visit https://www.hiphi.org/jointhehui

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