MILILANI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On the Mililani High School campus, a traditional Hawaiian imu starts with a pit, lots of rocks, banana leaves and pork that's been slow cooking.
"We cooked it all night. We pulled it at about 4:30 in the morning and that was pork shoulder and a little Hawaiian salt," said chef Greg Christian of Beyond Green Sustainable Food Partners.
This imu isn't for a fundraiser. It's actually the first state-approved imu so the kalua pig can be served for public school lunch. The certification was done by the Department of Education and Department of Health.
It's all part of the DOE's new Aina Pono Farm to School program. On the menu - kalua pig, poi, lomi tomato and local fruits.
"Students across our campus are excited to eat here not across the street, not at home, but right here," said Alyssa Yamada-Barretto, student body president.
"Because this program is pono, there are now students at other schools that are demanding it," said Lt. Gov. Doug Chin.
Fresher, better tasting food means kids eat more and waste less.
"So not only are we serving a better meal for the same cost, but the kids aren't throwing it away so that is amazing," said Principal Fred Murphy.
Albert Scales, administrator of the School Food Services Branch says the DOE serves one million school lunches each year so buying more local supports Hawaii farms and businesses.