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Key Bills

The 2023 Food+ Priorities guide the bills we are tracking in the current year.  Check out all the bills we tracked in previous years by clicking on the bill issue areas. Information boxes are provided to learn about the bills we support/oppose & help to make an informed decision.

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Farm to School

Requires the Department of Education to take on the farm to school program, & make goals & take action to better implement it. 


  • HB443/SB943: Relating to School Food Programs. (SUPPORT) 

  • HB702/SB967: Relating to Farm to School Procurement.  (SUPPORT)

  • HB767: Relating to the Farm to School Program. (SUPPORT)

Children in the Garden

Relation to Sustainable & Resilient Food Systems

  • HB443/SB943: 

    • By creating a requirement for the department of education to put time into gathering more data and report on their food services branch & student meals programs, we can obtain more accurate information gain a better vantage point to present a case that will inform policymakers how to effectively increase the State's investment in local food procurement and tactfully master institutional purchasing that will further stabilize Hawaiʻis local food systems.

Food Hubs

Requires the department of agriculture to establish a five-year food hub pilot program to increase access to local food. Provides for the award of grant funding to qualified applicants wishing to establish or expand a food hub. Authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds for the Honalo marshalling yard. Requires reports to the legislature. 


  • SB338/HB829: Relating to a Food Hub Pilot Program.  (SUPPORT)

Food Blogger

Relation to Sustainable & Resilient Food Systems

  • “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (World Food Summit, 1996).

  • Food hubs promote local production of culturally appropriate, nutritious foods.


Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Fee

Imposes a two-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks at the distributor level. Revenues would be deposited into the “Healthy ʻOhana Fund” to fund initiatives that aim to prevent obesity & chronic disease for Hawaiʻi’s ʻohana. 



  • HB330/SB541: Relating to Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. (SUPPORT)

  • HB994/SB1148: Relating to Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. (SUPPORT)

Refrigerated Goods

Relation to Sustainable & Resilient Food Systems

  • A sustainable & resilient food system supports the health of its community members by providing nutritious food & drink that enable them to live healthy lives. 

  • Sugar sweetened-beverages contribute to diet-related illness (e.g., obesity, type-2 diabetes) which can also lead to high healthcare costs. 

  • The communities most targeted by sugary beverage ads also tend to be those that suffer the hardest under the burden of these diseases such as the Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander community.


SNAP: Double Up Food Bucks Program

Removes the $10 per visit per day cap on the dollar-for-dollar match received by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program beneficiaries under the Hawaii Healthy Food Incentive Program, also known as the Double Up Food Bucks Program. Specifies that healthy proteins are eligible purchases under the program.


  • HB235/SB512: Relating to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Initiatives. (SUPPORT)

Farmers Market

Relation to Sustainable & Resilient Food Systems

  • A sustainable & resilient food system provides enough adequate & nutritious food for all.


Cover Crops

Provides reimbursement for cover crops. 


  • SB337: Relating to Sustainable Agriculture. (SUPPORT)

Checking the Crops

Relation to Sustainable & Resilient Food Systems

  • Cover crops offer a variety of benefits to soil, farms, and the ecosystem at large (providing nutrients, attracting beneficial organisms, reducing soil loss, etc.).

  • Cover crops are essential tools for farmers, as they contribute directly to maintaining the health and vitality of our soils. 


Agribusiness Development Corporation (ADC)

Requires the department of agriculture & agribusiness development corporation to annually lease at least fifty per cent of land leased or up for lease renewal to operations whose primary business is, or supports, local food production beginning 1/1/2022. 


  • HB827/SB335: Relating to Agriculture. (SUPPORT)

  • HB1271: Relating to the Agribusiness Development Corporation. (SUPPORT)

  • HB1151: Relating to Agriculture. (SUPPORT)

Harvesting Carrots

Relation to Sustainable & Resilient Food Systems

  • A sustainable food system produces fresh, healthy food that are grown locally in a sufficiently steady quantity that will provide the local population its basic nutritional needs regardless of crisis or situation.

  • Leasing more land for local food production increases the amount of food produced in the region and thus increases the amount of food available for direct local consumption.



Hawaiian Farming

Establishes an exemption form state income tax for the first $100,00 of a person's income form the business of taro cultivation or production is excluded from their gross income for Hawaii income tax purposes, provided that the department of agriculture makes its thirty thousand acre threshold determination.


  • SB341: Relating to Taro. (SUPPORT)

  • HB1356/SB1410: Relating to Agriculture. (SUPPORT)


Relation to Sustainable & Resilient Food Systems

  • A sustainable & resilient food system support cultural farming practices & food security.


Emergency Preparedness

Works to enhance the state's food security, particularly during times of emergency. 



  • HB8: Relating to Food Security. (SUPPORT)

  • HB1255/SB1250: Relating to Emergency Food Management. (SUPPORT)


Relation to Sustainable & Resilient Food Systems

  • Focuses on the imperative to have a baseline to determine Hawaiiʻs food security needs by the establishment of a Hawaii food security initiative program.


Community-Based Subsistence Fishing Areas (CBSDAs)

Creates an amendment that conditions the designation of CBSFAs to require the approval of at least 50% of the residents of the affected community - those within 10 miles of the shoreline boundary of the area to be designated as a CBSFA. 


Fishing in the Ocean

Relation to Sustainable & Resilient Food Systems

  • A sustainable & resilient food system is supposed to support cultural practices that are used to acquire food, especially for individuals who have a cultural connection to the practice. 

  • CBFAs are intended to “protect and reaffirm fishing practices customarily and traditionally exercised for purposes of native Hawaiian subsistence, culture, and religion.” 


Loko I'a (Hawaiian Fishponds)

Provides the Department of Land & Natural Resources to utilize state-of-the-art knowledge in marine finfish hatchery production to establish a functional system to provide pua ‘ama & pua awa to stock loko i‘a. 


  • SB1319:  Relating to Hawaiian Fishponds. (SUPPORT)


Relation to Sustainable & Resilient Food Systems

  • A sustainable & resilient food system supports the production of local foods to increase food security & decrease reliance on food imports. 

  • A sustainable & resilient food system encourages & nurtures traditional & cultural food practices. 


Ag Cooperatives


Farmer at Work

Relation to Sustainable & Resilient Food Systems

  • Info coming soon...