We Grow Hawaiʻi 2024: Empowering Youth on Sustainable Food Advocacy

Punahou hosts day two of the ninth annual We Grow Hawaiʻi Summit, focusing on farm to school advocacy

The ninth annual We Grow Hawaiʻi Youth Food Summit unfolded over two impactful days in February, highlighting farm to school and school food advocacy. This gathering invited students and educators from across Hawaiʻi, from Molokai to MidPac to Waianae, to engage in presentations and discussions on promoting school food systems that benefit both students and local producers.

The event was spearheaded by six members of the Hawaiʻi Youth Food Council, including Punahou’s Sabina Funasaki ’24, as part of the Hawaiʻi Farm to School Hui program, in partnership with Punahou.

Day one, held at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol, focused on empowering high school students to voice their support for farm to school initiatives. Participants enjoyed activities such as presentations, group work, meeting with lawmakers and a lunch featuring local ingredients.

Day two at Punahou expanded its reach to include students from preK – 12. The day was filled with diverse activities, including soap making and cooking with local foods.

Kara Uemoto ’25, who shared her work on an aquaponics project, reflected on her participation: “It was an amazing experience that has opened up so many new and exciting opportunities to further share our knowledge and passions with our community.” 

Stella Stake ’27 shared her takeaway from the event at the Capitol. “It was a wonderful opportunity and very inspiring. I learned a ton about Hawai‘i’s food systems. The high schoolers I spoke with that day were incredibly knowledgeable and powerful.

“I even got to contribute to real change. Meeting with legislators and getting our opinions through was a perfect example of how youth must lead the way for change. I hope events like this will continue to empower youth in the future, just like how this event empowered me.”

Day one: Hawaiʻi State Capitol

Day two: Punahou School

Photos courtesy of Hawai‘i Public Health Institute

Zeen is a next generation WordPress theme. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.