- State Program Coordinator:Seri Niimi-Burch
- State Program Manager:Jess Sobocinski
- State Partner Supervisor:Betsy Cole
For more information on getting involved with FoodCorps in Hawai’i, please contact Jess.
Why Serve in Hawai’i?
Hawai’i is a gardener’s delight. 365 days a year, one can be outside, working with the sun, soil, water, and air to grow fresh local food. Currently, Hawaiʻi imports 90% of its food and while it is considered one of the healthiest states in the country, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities in Hawaiʻi experience disproportionately high rates of food insecurity and diet related disease. This reality doesn’t have to continue.
FoodCorps serves at schools in Hawaiʻi, helping to build and expand school garden and nutrition education programs, and supporting school-based efforts for health and wellness. We are also part of a the Hawaiʻi Farm to School Hui, a statewide network of island-level networks, community organizations, and representatives of the Hawai‘i Departments of Agriculture, Education, Health, and the University of Hawai‘i, who work together to support and advocate for farm to school initiatives throughout the state.
All of our partner schools’ principals are committed to building garden-based nutrition education programs, and expanding connections between hands-on learning and the core curriculum. FoodCorps is dedicated to providing training and support to our service members to ensure that the education and programs they provide are engaging, place-based, and culturally-relevant. We know that children who are healthy and engaged are ready to learn. Imua (Forward we go)!
The Kohala Center is an independent, not-for-profit, community-based center for research, conservation, and education. By focusing on the needs of island residents and the research interests of their university and agency partners, four core areas of work have emerged: food, water, place, and people. Through these partnerships and by recognizing that they work in a model environment, they help communities on the island, in the Pacific, and around the world thrive—ecologically, economically, culturally, and socially. Their mission: to respectfully engage the Island of Hawaiʻi as a living model for humanity. Their vision: a state of pono, in which individuals realize their potential, contributing their very best to one another, to the community, and to the ʻāina (the land) itself, in exchange for a meaningful and happy life.