“Local First” is the program that started at University of Hawaii Hilo back in 2006. The program was created to help farmers and also to provide sustainable and local food through their dining services.

65 percent of the food served at the Campus Center Dining Hall is locally produced. UH Hilo also has a ‘Local First Wednesdays' with plates that consist of 100 percent locally produced food. There are 10 campuses within the UH system, and UH Hilo is the only one that serves 65 percent locally produced food. An article recently published on the UH Hilo website states that they're trying to work it out where they can offer 100 percent local meals more often.

All of the hamburgers, steaks and kalua pork served at the dining hall comes from Kulana Foods in Hilo. Kohala MT Farms provides baby spinach, spring mix lettuce and baby arugula. Hamakua Spring Farms provides bananas and Okada provides celery, green cabbage, Napa cabbage and broccoli.

To read more of the local farms that are providing food and to learn more about the Local First program, click here.