May 6, 2022 (Civil Beat) by Brittany Lyte
Local lettuce will augment the short list of Hawaii-grown food products incorporated into student meals across the state’s 257 public schools next year.
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For three years, the Hawaii Ulu Cooperative supplied the state’s public schools with tens of thousands of pounds of breadfruit, sweet potato, banana and papaya.
Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and student meals changed to rely more heavily on mainland imports. And the ulu co-op, which had been selling approximately 60,000 pounds of food a year to the DOE and started growing some new crops specifically for the department, saw its business with the public school system plummet to zero.