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

Overview   |   2018 Winners   |   Food Vision Stories


Launched by the Henry P. Kendall Foundation in 2018, the New England Food Vision Prize Program awards as many as six prizes of up to $250,000 each to help New England college and university food service directors launch their bold and innovative ideas to strengthen the region's food system.

In 2018, the Foundation awarded $250,000 prizes to five teams of institutions and community partners. In 2019, as many as six teams will receive awards of up to $250,000 each.

The Prize Program is designed to raise awareness of the region's food supply, encourage collaboration between food system stakeholders, and increase procurement and consumption of products grown, raised, or harvested in New England.


Despite recent progress, regulatory, contractual, economic, food safety, and labor-related barriers persist that prevent New England colleges and universities from sourcing more of their food from the region.

At the same time, these institutions represent a collective economic force that has the potential to significantly improve the region's food system, not only through greater regional procurement, but by helping their students better appreciate the impact they have as consumers with the food choices they make.

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 Food Solutions New England's 50 by 60 goal. Winning proposals will be selected based on their commitments to the following:

Project teams must consist of at least two New England college or university food service programs.

Projects must be designed for sharing, adaptation, transferability, and scalability by others in the region.

Projects must be designed to last, generating positive impact over the long-term.

Project teams must demonstrate how they will track progress towards their goals.

Project teams must demonstrate how their ideas support organization, engagement, advocacy, and education about the larger food systems movement.


Download 2019 Prize Facts Here

Submit your LOI for the 2019 Prize round here.

If you missed the April 11 webinar, a recording is available here.


March 11, 2019 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 email.


April 11, 2019 Webinar: The Henry P. Kendall Foundation will host a webinar for interested parties, solicit questions and provide answers regarding the prize and its parameters. View a recording of the webinar here.


June 1, 2019 Deadline for Letters of Interest: Letters will briefly explain the idea, how it will increase procurement of and demand for regional food, and what institutions and partners will collaborate to realize the goal. Letters should be no longer than one page. Letter of Interest template and instructions can be found here.


July 1, 2019 Invitation for Full Proposal: The Foundation will review all submitted Letters of Interest and invite a subset of teams to submit full proposals for consideration.


September 1, 2019 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.


November 1, 2019 Winners Notified: Up to six winners will be selected to receive up to $250,000 each over two years to support the implementation of their idea.


December 1, 2019 Winners Announced: The Foundation and the winning institutions will publicly announce the winning teams and projects through media release, email, web, and social media.




Q1: Who is eligible for the New England Food Vision Prize?
A1: Any college or university dining services program in New England (ME, MA, NH, VT, CT, or RI).

Q2: Who can apply for the prize?
A2: Prize teams must consist of at least two dining service programs at college or university campuses. Teams may include any combination and number of additional partner organizations. Dining service applicants must be a representative of the dining services program that is empowered with decision-making authority. Awards may only be made to a college or university as the non-profit entity. There are multiple ways for everyone to get involved.


If you are... ...then you may...
A dining services leader at a New England college or university Collaborate with a colleague at another institution to apply
A community organization, farmer, fisher, or other food system partner Work with a dining services leader to become a part of a proposed project
A 2018 New England Food Vision Prize winner Collaborate with partners to apply again in 2019. Lead applicants among 2018 winners may not serve as lead applicants again in 2019.
A 2018 prize applicant, but non-winner Collaborate and apply again in 2019 as either a lead applicant or a team member.


Q3: How are the teams comprised?
A3: Teams self-organize to develop and submit ideas for the prize. One institution will serve as the lead applicant, which will receive the full prize payment and will be responsible for distribution, as applicable, to the other team collaborators.

Q4: How will the prize be awarded?
A4: The prize funding will be awarded to the lead applicant over one or two years depending on the project timeline. 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.

Q5: Does the prize need to be spent or can it be used to establish a revolving loan fund, for example?
A5: 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.

Q6: Can the prize award be used as seed funding, or partial funding for a bigger project?
A6: Yes

Q7: How much financial information will be necessary to include in the application?
A7: Completion of a high-level budget template for the entire project will be required with the application showing the activities and expenses of each member of the collaboration. Lead applicants that are invited to submit full proposals will be asked to supply additional information regarding the financial stability of the institution.

Q8: Are there limits to the use of funds for indirect and overhead costs associated with implementing the idea?
A8: If a prize is awarded, no more than 10% of the prize may be used for indirect expenses. This must be reflected in the budget submitted with the proposal.

Q9: 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?
A9: 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. Those submitting full proposals will be asked to provide detail on how funding will be distributed.

Q10: The prize overview lists five characteristics for ideas. Do we need to touch on all of them?
A10: Yes, project proposals should address all criteria. All proposed projects should demonstrate the ability to influence increased production (demand for product) and consumption (delivery and awareness building among campus audiences) of regional food.

Q11: Do we have to collaborate with another higher education institution?
A11: Yes, it is a requirement to submit an idea that includes more than one New England college or university.

Q12: Can we include non-college/university partners?
A12: Yes, we anticipate and encourage collaboration with other partners including local farms, food hubs, processors, or other businesses, but the partnership must include more than one college or university in New England.

Q13: Do all prize proposal partners need to be from the same area or state?
A13: No. Prize proposal partners can be any college or university in New England.

Q14: Can we collaborate with an institution outside of New England?
A14: Yes, as long as the partnership also includes at least one other New England college or university, including community colleges.

Q15: How is a smaller school expected to compete with larger schools in the region?
A15: Project proposals will be evaluated against a range of criteria that measure the potential impact of the idea, not the size of the school.

Q16: If my institution was not awarded a prize in 2018, can we re-apply in this round?
A16: Yes. There is no limit on the number of times an institution may apply.

Q17: If my institution was awarded a prize in 2018, can we re-apply in this round?
A17: Yes. Lead applicants that were awarded a 2018 prize may reapply, but may not serve as a lead applicant in 2019. They may serve as a team member with another institution acting as lead applicant. Those who were on 2018 winning teams but who did not serve as lead applicant may apply again in 2019 in any form.

Q18: If my institution was awarded a prize in 2018, can we reapply for more funding for the same project?
A18: No. Those 2018 winners who are reapplying must do so with a new project proposal.

Q19: Can we submit more than one application with different collaborators?
A19: Institutions may appear on more than one project proposal team, however, may only submit one proposal as a lead applicant.

Q20: What kind of recognition, announcement, ongoing press, reporting will come with an award?
A20: 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 relevant regional conferences and in national industry publications.

Q21: Will project teams have the chance to pitch their projects to the Foundation in person?
A21: 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.

Q22: How is this prize different from a regular H. P. Kendall Foundation grant?
A22: The New England Food Vision Prize differs from a regular H. P. Kendall Foundation grant primarily in the way proposals are invited and award winners are selected.

The Prize process involves an open-call for letters of interest, the selection of teams to develop full proposals, the involvement of a volunteer expert committee to recommend award winners, and greater flexibility in the use of funds in carrying out the winning proposals.

The H. P. Kendall Foundation considers New England Food Vision Prize awards equivalent to grants in that they are made only to eligible 501(c)3 organizations and subject to expenditure responsibility through reporting and accountability requirements that are outlined in the grant agreement.

The distinct process of this prize program is designed to stimulate partnerships and collaborations and produce innovative solutions that meet the Foundation’s priorities for strengthening New England’s food system.


1. Register for the 2019 Farm to Institution Summit April 2-4, 2019 (registration deadline is March 22nd). This will be a great opportunity to learn more about the Prize and connect with potential collaborators from across New England.

2. Keep an eye out for future communications about Round 2 of the New England Food Vision Prize.

3. Start thinking about how you can shape the future of our food system!

Have a question or need clarification? Contact us at