The New England Food Vision Prize encourages college and university campuses to improve the health, sustainability, and vitality of the region's food system. This marks the second annual round of $250,000 prizes, which invites food service leaders from the region's 200 college and university campuses to submit bold, collaborative, catalytic ideas to increase the amount of regionally produced food on campus menus.
"Emmanuel students, in addition to those who attend MIT and Lesley, are diverse, as are the neighborhoods in which the institutions are located," said Bon Appetit General Manager Robin Fortado. "They want access to delicious, affordable food that supports their health, their communities and the planet. Globally inspired, regionally grown/sourced and locally made ingredients and foods can meet these needs."
Emmanuel, in partnership with Commonwealth Kitchen, Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center, Boston Area Gleaners, and PV Grows, propose to work with food service provider Bon Appetit Management Company to create a portfolio of "Food from Here" products that will be utilized across campus kitchens, retail locations, residential halls, and at MIT's at-cost grocery store. Chefs at the institutions will work with the project's processing partners to analyze campus menus and recommend products for the "Food from Here" portfolio. These partners, along with Boston Area Gleaners, will identify local suppliers, who will receive the support they need to become a part of the supply chain.
The New England Food Vision Prize is designed to accelerate progress toward the New England Food Vision, a bold vision that calls for the region to produce at least 50% of its 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.
"We are thrilled to have sparked such interest and creative thinking within just two short years," said Foundation Executive Director Andrew Kendall. "The winning teams and their partners are leveraging their purchasing clout in the marketplace together with engaging their students to create the consistent, long-term demand that local farmers, fishers, and ranchers need to sustain and grow their operations. We believe that the ideas represented by this year's winners reflect the kind of ingenuity needed to build a healthier, sustainable food system in New England."
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.
The Henry P. Kendall Foundation is a New England philanthropic enterprise that is part of a strong and rapidly expanding network aiming to create a resilient and healthy New England food system.
For a full list of prize winners, please visit kendall.org/prize.