Mililani High School hosted musicians Jack Johnson, Paula Fuga and Kawika Kahiapo for lunch today as it continued to develop its from-scratch lunch menu utilizing locally produced food as part of the state’s ‘Aina Pono Farm to School Program.
On the menu was a main course of spaghetti and meatballs made with Big Island beef and a salad sourced from Mari’s Garden, a hydroponic and aquaponic farm that’s also part of the Mililani neighborhood.
The entertainers paid a visit on behalf of Kokua Hawai‛i Foundation, of which Johnson is a co-founder and vice president, and Kahiapo is a board member. The trio gave a short performance after lunch. Kokua Hawai‘i spearheaded a lunch waste audit to collect data for the program.
Mililani’s cafeteria has begun providing a from-scratch meal made with local foods once a week. That will increase to twice weekly as the next step in transitioning to more local home-style lunches.
Student senators from the Associated Students of Mililani High School helped with the audit. They have formed an advisory task force that assists with tasting new dishes and informing the student body about the changes in the lunch menu, with flyers and videos included in the school’s morning bulletins.
Now, said senator Destiny Perreira, a senior, students can get lots more information about the food they’re eating when looking at the menus.
“Items are labeled local and fresh, and we can see where the food is sourced,” she said.
Mililani High is the second largest food production site in the Department of Education, providing about 2,500 school lunches daily for approximately 1,000 high school students and an additional 1,500 students at Mililani Uka Elementary and Mililani Waena Elementary schools.
The ‘Aina Pono program has also been implemented at Kohala schools and Kalani High School.