Local First Program Highlights Hawaii Island Products
Students in a garden

Some ingredients used in the Hawaiʻi Community College and UH Hilo “Local First” program menus come from the Hawaiʻi Community College garden maintained by students.

Hawaiʻi Community College and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo have partnered together on Local First, a new initiative that aims to support the development of farms and the agricultural industry on Hawaiʻi Island by maximizing consumption of produce, meats and other locally grown and/or manufactured products.

To showcase the high quality and variety of local products available, the dining facilities at UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College, both in Hilo and Kona, are currently featuring a 100 percent Local First lunch special once a month through April 18.

The Local First specials are available in the Hawaiʻi Community College’s Manono Campus Cafeteria, the college’s culinary arts program restaurant Bamboo Hale, and at the University of Hawaiʻi Center, West Hawaiʻi in Kealakekua.

Currently, 50–60 percent of the products used by the campuses are locally grown, depending on weather and climate. Island grown, grass-fed beef in hamburgers are used daily.

The effort is not only an attempt to support local farmers and providers, but it’s also an educational opportunity for students. The concept is incorporated into the curriculum for Hawaiʻi Community College’s culinary arts program. Students are planning, preparing and delivering a meal with 100 percent locally grown ingredients while also learning the nutritional, sustainable and economic benefits of utilizing local ingredients and products directly as part of their coursework.

Some of the ingredients used also come from right outside the back door of the Manono Campus Cafeteria where students in the college’s Hawaiʻi Life Styles program maintain a beautiful garden of sugar cane, taro, sweet potato and many herbs.

Learn more about the Local First program as highlighted last month in Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Dates and menus for the Local First lunch specials are posted online for the Manono Campus Cafeteria (PDF), Bamboo Hale (PDF), and UH Center, West Hawaiʻi.

This Post Has 2 Comments
    1. Kim, Sorry for the delay in reply over Spring Break. You need to follow the links in the last paragraph to the posted info. Any questions not answered there should be directed to the campus where you would like to eat.

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