Now on the menu at some public schools: Fresh poi

Fresh poi is on the menu this month.
Published: May. 15, 2023 at 10:42 AM HST|Updated: May. 15, 2023 at 12:29 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Fresh poi is on the menu this month.

That’s according to the state Department of Education, in effort to increase local menu offerings to students while supporting local farmers.

For the first time in a decade, more than 70 public schools have poi in their lunches.

DOE said 23,000 4-ounce servings were prepared to be served with kalua pork, lomi tomato and pineapple.

School officials said it was so popular, they are looking for more farmers to supply additional produce.

“All the kids in Hawaii eat poi. So we want to bring this as part of their normal diet,” said DOE official Randall Tanaka. “We know they eat it at home, but we should be serving it in our schools.”

Some Oahu and neighbor island schools offered u’ala (sweet potato).

Officials hope to expand the poi offerings to all public schools across the state.

The Department is working closely with local vendors statewide to learn more about supply capacities and to see how fresh local poi can be scaled across all schools in the future on a regular basis.