Harvest of the Month is a program that highlights a locally available crop each month of the school year in school cafeterias, healthy snacks programs and in school garden curriculum. The program's goal is to encourage healthy food choices by increasing students' exposure to seasonal foods while also supporting local farmers and building excitment about school meals. Following in the footsteps of school districts in California, Oregon, and other states, the Kokua Hawai'i Foundation has developed a harvest of the month school toolkit for Hawai'i Schools -- Fresh Choice Hawaiian Harvest.
Fresh Choice Hawaiian Harvest celebrates the diverse, nutritious, and delicious bounty of produce grown in Hawai'i, encouraging children and their families to eat more locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
How is Harvest of the Month implemented?
School cafeterias highlight each month’s featured item at least twice in their menus. Schools staff holds taste tests and leads lessons in classrooms and cafeterias to help students be open to trying these foods. Studies show that healthy eating and daily physical activity have a profound impact on the body and mind by improving the ability to learn and comprehend, boosting energy, improving school attendance and changing attitudes, behavior and more. The AINA In Schools Fresh Choice Hawaiian Harvest Toolkit features info sheets, prep guides, and posters of locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Further Resources & Curriculum Links
All Harvest of the Month resources are based on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines are supported by extensive research that shows eating a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables and getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day can help children maintain a healthy weight and lower their risk for serious health problems.