Skip To Main Content
Hungry for More: School Lunches Get a Reboot
Elizabeth McDonnell

This summer, we unveiled our new school lunch program for our downtown campus. Our re-imagined school lunch is offered by FoodStart by Chef Jeremy Shigekane of M by Chef Jeremy Shigekane. In this pilot program, fresh, sustainable, healthy meals are prepared daily by Chef and his team featuring local ingredients including vegetables and fruits from FoodStart’s exclusive farmer, Kanekoa Farms, and other local small farms such as Ahiki Acres and Bear Claw Farm.

Incorporating this new food program fuels not only healthy bodies but our school’s mission, too. Dr. Ruth Fletcher, President and Head of School at St. Andrew’s Schools, selected FoodStart because providing “healthy and delicious lunches to fuel our students’ learning aligns perfectly with our aims to educate them in mind, body, and spirit. We are excited that St. Andrew’s Schools’ commitment to sustainability is reflected in Chef Jeremy’s approach to the food he serves and his choice to work exclusively with local farms.”

FoodStart’s Chef Shigekane has culinary experience that includes working at fine dining restaurants in New York City, San Francisco, and his home here in Hawaiʻi. Chef’s career includes cooking at Bouley and Cafe Gray in NYC, The Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay, John’s Island Club in Florida, and Hawthorne Lane in San Francisco. He also opened the Bar at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). At home, Chef Shigekane has worked for Hoku’s at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Chef Chai, Chef Mavro, and the Royal Hawaiian Resort Waikiki. His greatest joy is to share his passion for food and drink with our islands. 

“I started the food program at St. Andrew’s Schools to feed our future leaders sustainable and good (nutritional and tasty) foods that are produced from local farms and purveyors. It’s super important to me to provide Hawaiʻi’s children with healthy foods to help them grow well in mind and body and to educate students on sustainability, proper nutrition, and eating good food,”  Jeremy Shigekane said.

A few weeks into the program and our students (and parents) are already loving it! Fresh produce is brought in daily. Delicious meals like focaccia pizza and char siu pork with basmati rice and garden Swiss chard are a few examples of menu items. But don’t just take our word for it. Senior Meenakshi Kutty said, “I really appreciate how there is care for the health of the students through the food being locally grown. As nutritional health in schools is becoming more of an issue, it’s important to shift the scene of not only what food is provided, but also how.”

To put it simply, second grader Ruixi Zhao said, “It’s goooood!”