For food service leaders on New England's college and university campuses to advance their big ideas.

Overview   |   Winners   |   Food Vision Stories


Launched by the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, the New England Food Vision Prize is an award of up to $250,000 that will allow the region’s food service leaders at college and university campuses to launch bold and innovative ideas that will positively impact New England’s food system. The Foundation will award up to six such prizes this year.

The prize is designed to raise awareness of and support for the New England Food Vision, which calls for the capacity to produce at least 50% of clean, fair, just, and accessible food to be grown or produced in the region by 2060. To do so, we must unlock the demand side purchasing power of the region's institutions - like our college and university campuses, which serve nearly one million students per year.


Despite recent progress, real barriers - regulatory, contractual, economic, food safety, and labor-related - still exist for New England institutions to access and source more of the food they could use from within the region. And despite increased awareness of sustainable food systems, many young people don’t fully appreciate the broad implications their own food choices have.

The New England Food Vision Prize is designed to support ideas that result in higher procurement of regional food by institutions,more regional food on campus menus, and increased demand for regional food by students while on campus and beyond the campus as alumnae.


The New England Food Vision Prize will support, inspire, and launch bold new ideas that will leverage the market power of colleges and universities to contribute to the 50 by 60 goal. Winning proposals will be selected based on the following:

Project teams must identify and collaborate with at least one other New England college or university to advance the goal, encouraging the breaking down of silos and barriers to progress.

Ideas for the New England Food Vision Prize should think beyond the dynamics at play on any one campus. They should be designed for sharing, adaptation, transferability and scalability by others in the region.

Good ideas are based on a systems-approach and designed to last. Ideas for the Prize will support the near-term increase of regional food on campus and also generate positive economic impact in the region over the long-term.

Applicants will share ways they plan on quantifying and qualifying progress on increasing regional food procurement and generating increased demand for regional food.

The march toward 2060 will be driven by smart investment, strategic innovation, and the voices of a loud and diverse coalition insisting on change. Ideas for the Prize should demonstrate how they contribute to this larger drum beat through organizing, engaging, advocating, or educating.


April 16, 2018: Prize Announcement
Food service leaders at all colleges and universities in New England will receive a formal invitation to learn more about the Prize via mail and email.

May 1, 2018: Webinar
The Henry P. Kendall Foundation will host a webinar at 3 p.m. for interested parties to solicit questions and provide answers regarding the prize and its parameters. A recording of the webinar is available here.

June 1, 2018: Deadline for Letters of Interest
Letters will briefly explain the idea, how it will increase procurement of and demand for regional food, and who they may collaborate with to realize the goal. Letters should be no longer than one page and should be submitted here.

June 15, 2018: Invitation for Full Proposal
The Foundation will review all submitted Letters of Interest and invite full proposals from within that applicant pool.

August 15, 2018: Proposal Deadline
Proposals will expand on the original idea to include responses to a series of prompts, which will be the basis upon which the Prize winners will be chosen.

October 15, 2018: Winners Announced
Up to six winners will be selected to receive up to $250,000 each over two years to support the implementation of their idea.


Who is eligible for the New England Food Vision Prize?
Any college or university in New England (ME, MA, NH, VT, CT, or RI).

Who can apply for the prize?
A representative of the dining services program empowered with decision-making authority.

How will the prize be awarded - to a single entity, as a lump sum?
The prize funding will be awarded to the lead applicant over one or two years depending on the project timeline. Additionally, all project partners must have executed a memorandum of understanding stipulating how funds will be managed, distributed, and expended in accordance with the proposed project.

Does the prize need to be spent or can it be used to establish a revolving loan fund, for example?
As long as the funds are utilized in a manner consistent with the criteria and priorities of the Prize program, they do not have to be spent right away. A revolving loan fund would be permissible. In these instances, additional terms for the use of the funds may apply.

Can the prize award be used as seed funding, or partial funding for a bigger project?
Yes, so long as there is a reasonable likelihood that the larger project will be implemented. Applicants will be asked to identify additional sources of funding.

How much financial information will be necessary to include in the application?
A high-level budget for the entire project should be included with the application showing the activities and expenses of each member of the collaboration.

Are there limits to the use of funds for indirect and overhead costs associated with implementing the idea?
If an award is granted, no more than 10% of the prize may be used for indirect expenses.

Does the application have to specify how funding would be distributed amongst collaborators and are there any restrictions as to where the funding can go?
The applicant - if successful - will have full responsibility for proper disbursement of the prize funds, including ensuring that funds are accounted for by each collaborator.

The prize overview lists five characteristics for ideas. Do we need to touch on all of them?
Project proposals should address all criteria and most importantly demonstrate the ability to influence increased production (demand for product) and consumption (delivery and awareness building among campus audiences).

Do we have to collaborate with another higher ed institution?
Yes, it is a requirement to submit an idea that includes more than one New England college or university. Institutions can partner with each other in the same state or across state lines, but at least two of the institutions on the application must be located in New England.

Can we include non-college/university partners?
Yes, we anticipate and encourage collaboration with other partners, including local farms, food hubs, processors, other businesses, or K-12 school districts, but the partnership must include more than one college or university in New England.

Do all prize proposal partners need to be from the same area or state?
The prize criteria requires collaboration with other partners, at least one of which must be another college or university anywhere in New England.

Can we collaborate with an institution outside of New England?
Yes, so long as the partnership also includes another New England institution.

How is a smaller school expected to compete with larger schools in the region?
Project proposals will be evaluated against a range of criteria, not solely on participation rates or food budget.

Can we submit more than one application with different collaborators?
Only one application may be submitted by an institution at any one time. However, an institution may be a collaborator for another application at the same time as they are an applicant themselves.

What kind of recognition, announcement, ongoing press, reporting will come with an award?
The Foundation will issue a press release, public email, and web announcement of the winners of the Prize. The winning institutions are encouraged to promote the news as well, and the Foundation will provide quotes and background material to support these efforts. Winning project teams will also be highlighted at the 2019 Farm-to-Institution New England Summit in Spring 2019.

Will project teams have the chance to pitch their projects to the Foundation in person?
Primary review of all applications will be document-based. The Foundation reserves the right to contact project leads for clarification on any information presented in the application prior to making its final decision.

Are food service management companies eligible for the prize?
Only institutions are eligible to receive an award. the individual submitting the application must be an employee of the institution duly authorized.

What is regional food?
For the purpose of this prize, regional food refers to food that is grown, raised, or harvested in New England. It also includes value-added products that incorporate ingredients grown, raised, or harvested in New England.

What is the different between the "Lead Applicant" and "Primary Contact"?
The "Lead Applicant" is the institution's authorized individual who signs and submits the appication and who would be responsible for implementation if the application receives an award.

The "Primary Contact" is the individual designated by the Lead Applicant to receive funding and other administrative communiations should the application receive an award.

What level of detail should be in the letter of interest?
Letters of Interest should be limited to one page and provide an overview of what the idea is, who the partners are - including any community partners - an estimate of the scope or cost of an idea, and the ways in which implementing this idea is intended to increase regional food on campus. If there are unknowns at the time of the Letter of Interest, such as the exact cost of implementation, level of impact, or possiblity of additional partners, applicants should indicate that, as well.

Are there restrictions on how the prize is spent?
Prize funds are designed to implement an idea that will increase regional food on campus menus over the long term, therefore having a positive impact on the regional food system. Funds are not intended for an institution's general operating fund nor their endowment, and overhead costs should be limited to 10% of the total grant award.

If my institution is not awarded a prize, can we re-apply in the next round?
Yes. There is no limit on the number of times an institution may apply.

If my institution wins the award this year, can we apply again?
Yes, but winners will be asked to sit out for one grant cycle (about a year) before applying again and would need to apply with a new idea.

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