WEST MAUI - A year ago, West Maui chef and entrepreneur Paris Nabavi approached Lehn Huff of the Maui School Garden Network with an offer to provide organic seeds for all member school gardens for the 2011-12 academic year.
"Thanks to Chef Nabavi's generous efforts and donation, organic seeds were provided for all 41 of the 52 K-12 schools in Maui County. This July, Chef Nabavi has pledged to continue providing organic seeds for all Maui's schools for another year," Huff noted.
Nabavi's desire to connect with Maui keiki through his support of the network is in direct response to alarming data released recently by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia. BMI (Body Mass Index) levels indicate over half of school-age students are considered obese, and increases in juvenile diabetes are at epidemic levels.
In April, Chef Nabavi hosted a food demonstration and lunch at his Kaanapali home for 20 participants in the West Side School Gardens Tour.
By providing the seeds to help students create their own food, and showing them how to cook and serve delectable and nutritious meals, Nabavi hopes to encourage awareness of the food chain and the importance of sustainability for Maui's children.
In addition to MSGN, Nabavi supports the Maui Food Bank and organizations researching methods to combat juvenile diabetes.
Nabavi runs Cilantro Mexican Grill at Old Lahaina Center and Pizza Paradiso Mediterranean Grill at Honokowai Marketplace.