May 29, 2020

Kirsty Gallaher
Communications Director, Hawaiʻi Public Health Institute
(808) 222-5753 or via email.


Recruiting motivated high school students for the 2020-2021 school year, now more important than ever

(HAWAIʻI)  Are you a responsible, enthusiastic high school student with a passion for food, nutrition, and agriculture? The importance of sustainable food systems is becoming increasingly clear, and this is your opportunity to make a difference during the 2020-2021 school year. Those interested in joining the Hawai‘i Youth Food Council (HYFC) are invited to apply by June 15, 2020, by visiting

HYFC is comprised of high school students from across the state with a collective goal of supporting food-related efforts that benefit Hawai‘i’s communities. HYFC launched this past school year with an inaugural council of five youth from four islands, representing public and independent schools, and selected to help design and plan for an expanded rollout during the 2020-2021 school year.

First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige is an avid supporter of the Hawai‘i Youth Food Council. “Hawai‘i’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders,” she said, “and now more than ever it’s important that they have a voice in creating a healthier, more resilient food system for our future.”

Other adult allies and partner organizations of HYFC include Hawai‘i Public Health Institute, Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui, Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, Blue Zones Project, Hawai‘i Department of Health Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division, YMCA of Honolulu, Ceeds of Peace, and the Hawai‘i Department of Education School Food Services Branch.

During the Spring 2020 semester, HYFC’s main project was to collect data on students’ experiences relating to school lunches. They used two platforms to conduct the school food assessment. One was a ‘Photovoice’ contest where students submitted pictures of their food experience, both in school and during school closures, along with a description of the picture’s significance. They also conducted a survey, collecting data from students about their experience with school food and school-based agriculture programs.

Working this year with the founding council members, I have been blown away, not only by the skills and commitment of these young leaders, but also by the insights and ambitions expressed by youth across Hawai‘i that were gleaned through the youth food photo contest and survey,” says Lydi Bernal, Coordinator of the Hawai‘i Farm to School Hui, a statewide network and program of Hawai‘i Public Health Institute, under which HYFC is housed.

HYFC looks forward to contributing to Hawai‘i’s recovery and resilience through projects and policy work in the potential areas of school food, school gardens, home gardens, healthy eating, food waste, local agriculture, sustainable food production, nutrition education, workforce development, hunger prevention, and community food systems. Learn more at



(See above, all images courtesy: Hawaiʻi Youth Food Council)

Application link

For more information on HYFC applications

Hawaiʻi Youth Food Council website