Ulupono Initiative

Grow Hawaii

A pilot project using school gardens that created meaningful change in Hawaii’s food system.

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Background

Through the Ulupono donor-advised fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation, Ulupono Initiative supported Grow Hawaii, a three-year effort designed to have a meaningful impact on food behavior and build capacity among school chefs at private, public and charter schools using garden programs as the leverage point for change. Grow Hawaii is a project of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, which includes large and small private and independent schools, in partnership with the Hawaii State Departments of Education and Agriculture.

From 2010-2012, Grow Hawaii worked closely with 15 independent, public and charter schools on Oahu, ranging from small to large, to support the development of school garden programs and local school food procurement. It reached more than 1,600 students in grades K-12 and nearly 200 garden educators. The project envisioned school gardens as a fully integrated and mission-critical element of school life, providing learning experiences and access to healthy food for all children and their communities statewide. (The statewide school garden hui is now being administered by The Kohala Center.)

Why We Invested

Ulupono Initiative supported Grow Hawaii’s mission to provide outdoor, hands-on learning experiences for children while also giving them access to and building their preference for healthy, locally grown food. This investment is part of Ulupono’s larger effort to fund school gardens statewide to increase understanding of where food comes from, why local fresh is best and how behavioral change can make a difference.

Impact

  • Created / supported school gardens as a fully integrated and mission-critical element of school life
  • Provided learning experiences and access to healthy food for all children and their communities statewide
  • Supported continuing education for school administrators, teachers, chefs, parents and community leaders about agricultural topics and how to incorporate them into the curriculum
  • Supported more local food by increasing the consumer demand among children and families
  • Supported educated consumers who seek out fresh local food
  • Helped raise future farmers and food entrepreneurs
  • Incorporated lessons in composting and recycling of food, green waste as a resource

At a Glance

Grow Hawaii Logo

Investment Area
Food, Waste
Financial Model
Non-Profit
Total Investment

$236,872

2013: $43,000
2012: $80,000
2011: $40,000
2011: $13,872 to Statewide School Garden Hui
2010: $60,000

Support for Grow Hawaii is provided through grants from the Ulupono Donor-Advised Fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation.

Partners
Hawaii Association of Independent Schools 
Hawaii State Department of Eduction
Hawaii State Department of Agriculture