July 15, 2006 - Submitted by Leland Miyano
On July 14, 2006, Karen and Leland Miyano attended a retreat session at Hoa 'Aina O Makaha as representatives of Slow Food Oahu. Kokua Hawaii Foundation is the primary sponsoring organization for the 'AINA In Schools program and provides fiscal and administrative support for the program. Also in attendance were the steering committee, interested individuals and businesses, and representatives of the five pilot schools that will be participating in the first implementation of the 'AINA In Schools program.
'AINA In Schools is an acronym that reflects the mission statement, "Actively Integrate Nutrition and Agriculture in Schools". This program is modeled after other farm to school programs that strive to bring healthy meals and nutritional curriculum to students while re-connecting them to the land and the farmers that produce our food.
The 'AINA In schools program has six integrated components that incorporate the Hawaii State Academic Standards: 1) Healthy school lunches, 2) Nutrition education, 3) Garden-based learning, 4) Agricultural literacy, 5) Solid waste management, and 6) Family and community outreach.
To "Actively Integrate Nutrition and Agriculture in Schools" will contribute to the future health and well-being of our children, communities, and environment in Hawaii. The pilot schools on Oahu are: 'Aikahi, Makaha, Sunset Beach, Wai'alae, and Wheeler Elementary Schools.
We will keep you posted on the development of the 'AINA In Schools program and the future involvement of Slow Food Oahu. Slow Food USA conviviums have taken active roles in helping children develop an appreciation of wholesome foods and an understanding of land stewardship and sustainable food practices. Kokua Hawaii Foundation is a real blessing for us on Oahu, as they have taken the primary burden of organizing and funding this Farm to School program. They have asked to be co-sponsors of Slow Food Oahu events to aid in the promotion of the 'AINA In Schools program. It would be a perfect synergy of two like-minded organizations.