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We Grow Food Summit 2023

HYFC Celebrates Local Food & Agriculture through We Grow Food Summit We Grow Food Summit 2023

On Saturday, April 29th, Hawaiʻi Youth Food Council (HYFC) hosted the 8th Annual We Grow Hawai‘i: a Youth Food Summit. HYFC was the host of the event for the third year in a row, bringing together youth leaders to improve our food systems in Hawai‘i!

Since 2021, HYFC has held this event annually to promote youth voices and encourage involvement in our islands’ food systems. This was the first time we’ve been able to gather together in-person since HYFC took on the kuleana of planning and hosting the summit; the event was held virtually in 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were deeply fortunate to be hosted by Kahumana Food Hub and Organic Farms in Waiʻanae on Oʻahu.

We Grow gave us the opportunity to connect with other youth and leaders who care about similar values. We got to inspire each other and share our passions for the environment and community.” – Kaylie Hirayama, HYFC Member 2023

Mark Ladao, a reporter for the Star Advertiser, attended the event and published an article about it that readers can view here! “My message to Hawaii’s youth would be that they have a voice too, and what they want to say and their opinions matter a lot.” – quote from Gigi Kiyabu, HYFC Member 2023, from the article.  

The theme for 2023’s We Grow Summit was Teaching our keiki about nutrition and agriculture today creates the leaders for a healthier ʻāina tomorrow.” A small but powerful cohort of youth and adult allies from Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, and Molokaʻi came together to participate in a tour of Kahumana’s food hub and a hands-on farming and food activity fair. 

After a shared lunch provided by Kahumana’s cafe, we conducted an advocacy workshop where we broke into smaller groups to discuss different pathways to participate in food systems reform. At the end of this workshop, we launched a new youth advocacy group called the Hawaiʻi Youth Food Action Network (HYFAN). To learn more about getting involved with HYFAN or becoming a council member or adult ally of the council, please contact us at hyfc@hiphi.org.

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