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Chef Paris Nabavi supports Maui school gardens

By Staff | Jul 28, 2011


WEST MAUI — Chef Paris Nabavi is covering the organic seed needs of all 43 Maui School Garden Network K-12 schools for the 2011-12 school year.

The owner and operator of Cilantro Mexican Grill in Lahaina and Pizza Paradiso Mediterranean Grill in Honokowai recently donated $4,700 to the Maui School Garden Network to purchase high-quality, organic seeds.

The network faced using old seeds — many dating back to 1998 — that were donated from various sources,

“Organizations such as this one play a crucial role in setting the island on a path toward healthy eating and food sustainability. More than 85 percent of the food we consume on Maui is shipped in from elsewhere, and this is not sustainable on a variety of levels,” Nabavi noted on his website, www.chefnabavi.com.

“The tragic events of 9/11 showed how vulnerable the State of Hawaii is when airplanes stop flying. Through education and participation, we can bring more attention to the importance of having local food sources available, and this begins with the youth in our community.”

According to Maui School Garden Network Coordinator Lehn Huff, “Chef Paris Nabavi’s major goal is to get our children connected with healthy eating habits, whether it is at school, at home or in the community. He wants our children to understand where food comes from, what makes food nutritious and how to grow and prepare it correctly.”

Nabavi, who has an edible garden in his backyard, will offer Persian/Mediterranean cooking classes in the fall to both adults and children.

Proceeds from the adult classes will benefit Maui Food Bank, and proceeds from the keiki children’s class will support Juvenile Diabetes programs.

The Maui School Garden Network was developed to educate the children of Maui County in the elements of good nutrition and sustainability, and to develop a sense of food security by teaching them how to grow their own food and connecting them with local food producers in the community. For information on the group, visit www.mauischoolgardennetwork.org.