The Aina Pono Hawaii State Farm to School Program received a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service Thursday.

The grant aims to bring more healthy, nutritious, fresh and local food to school cafeterias statewide. The initiative was launched in 2015 by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. 

“This recognition validates the Aina Pono Hawaii State Farm to School Program and all the hard work by our state, public and private partners,” Lieutenant Governor Doug Chin said in a press release.

Chin added he has been pushing for more federal support for the program while ensuring procurement issues are properly addressed for the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) to buy more local products.

DOE cafeteria staff will also be trained to prepare locally sourced, scratch cooked meals. Local farmers, ranchers and distributors will be trained on how to contract with the DOE.

The program is implemented by the DOE School Food Services Branch, currently underway at Kohala Schools on the Big Island and three schools in Mililani on Oahu.