On March 27, 2020, the Henry P. Kendall Foundation announced the suspension of the remainder of our 2020 programs in order to refocus our efforts and resources in collaboration with others in ways that can minimize the negative impacts that COVID-19 is having on the regional food system.
As a first step towards that effort, our Board of Trustees has approved the following commitments:
- A $350,000 grant to the Boston Public Market to provide working capital and some immediate relief during the COVID-19 crisis. Since opening in 2015, the Boston Public Market has connected more than ten million visitors to food products grown, harvested, and hand-crafted in New England.
- A $250,000 grant to the John Merck Fund, who, together with the 1772 Foundation, the Sandy River Charitable Foundation, and others, have established the New England Food System Resilience Fund, designed to reinforce, restore, and promote the resilience of the regional food system in a time of unprecedented disruption.
- A $150,000 grant to CommonWealth Kitchen to provide working capital and some immediate relief during the COVID-19 crisis. Since opening in 2014, CommonWealth Kitchen has helped launch more than 200 food businesses, employing almost 600 people, and generating more than $50 million in annual revenue.
- A $100,000 grant to Coastal Enterprises, Inc. to provide immediate debt relief to its portfolio of more than 40 farm loans. These funds will provide three months of debt relief to farms and help them address new market realities brought on by the pandemic.
This represents an initial set of grants intended to help stabilize the regional food system and ultimately help food producers recover from this crisis. Given the uncertain and fast-moving nature of the crisis, our commitments and focus will shift over time. We will closely monitor the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on the regional food system and respond where and when we can have the greatest impact.
We will post updates on this page periodically.