2019 New England Food Vision Prize Winners

The $250,000 awards to each team will support innovative ideas among New England colleges and universities designed to improve the health, sustainability, and vitality of the region’s food system by increasing the amount of regionally produced food on campus menus. The winning projects are:

Changing Form for Function

• University of Vermont and State Agricultural College
• Norwich University
Greenhouse Grown

• Western New England University
• Springfield College Elms College

Hanging by a Shred

• Brown University
• Roger Williams University
• Smith College

Bringing Frozen Maine-Grown Produce to New England

• University of Maine at Farmington
• University of Maine at Presque Isle

Transforming Surplus into Stability and Scale

• Massachusetts Institute of Technology
• Lesley University
• Emmanuel College

The 2019 prize marks the second annual round for the Henry P. Kendall Foundation. Each year, food service directors at the region’s 200 college and university campuses are invited to team up and submit bold and innovative ideas to improve the health and sustainability of New England’s food system. Specifically, the Foundation seeks ideas that leverage the high-volume buying power of large institutions like colleges and universities, thereby increasing the amount of food that is consumed in New England to also be produced in New England.

Over the two years of the New England Food Vision Prize, dining programs from 70 higher education institutions in New England have formally submitted ideas for consideration. The student population at these schools represent nearly 40% of all higher education students in the region. In addition to the schools represented, each proposal includes strategic community partners such as farmers, fishers, ranchers, food processors, distributors, vendors, community organizations, and others. For the 2019 prize, 31 teams comprised of 57 campuses submitted ideas for consideration. Twenty teams representing 50 campuses were invited to submit full proposals.

The New England Food Vision Prize is designed to accelerate progress towards the New England Food Vision, a bold vision that calls for our region to produce at least 50% of our food by 2060, while supporting healthy food for all, sustainable farming and fishing, and thriving communities.. The 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. 

Ideas for the Prize were required to be collaborative, meaning winning ideas had to represent two or more campuses working together. Ideas also had to be replicable and sustainable, applicable outside of the specific contextual factors of one campus or one period of time. Applicants also had to demonstrate how they would measure impact, and include elements of movement-building, such as growing demand or knowledge around regionally produced food.

Each of the five winning teams will receive a $250,000 award to help implement their idea. The Henry P. Kendall Foundation will track their progress and share it with other partners over the coming months to encourage best practice sharing and replicability. 

The Henry P. Kendall Foundation would like to thank its panel of expert proposal reviewers: Peter Allison, Executive Director of Farm to Institution New England; Sue AnderBois, Director of Food Strategy for the State of Rhode Island; Ellen Kahler, Executive Director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund; Gray Harris, Senior VP, Food Systems at Coastal Enterprises, Inc; and Doug Rauch, Founder and President of the Daily Table.

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