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By Sarah Lyman, Communications Manager

Posted May 19, 2020

Metrics, News, Tools

FINE Launches New Portal for Institutional Food Resources

Farm to Institution New England (FINE) is excited to announce the launch of a new searchable portal for farm to institution resources in New England. The directory includes nearly 300 case studies, reports, raw data sets, webinars, and toolkits with more than a quarter of the resources specific to COVID-19 response and research. The farm to institution community has long viewed FINE as a go-to source for vetted issues and information in New England, and the release of this new tool allows FINE to play that role more efficiently and effectively. 

"What's so exciting," says FINE Executive Director Peter Allison, "is that the farm to institution world is growing, which means more information, more resources, more sharing. Our website has long been a treasure trove of information, but even our staff were having a hard time finding things! Our network was telling us they needed a single warehouse to store and search it all. That's what we've attempted to create with this resource database."

Visitors can now search from more than nearly 300 case studies, reports, data, webinars, and toolkits,categorized by sector, topic, and state. FINE was directly involved in the creation of more than 100 of these food system resources, and our research team has vetted all the others.

Search the Resource Database

Many of the resources are cross-sector and can be searched by topic like economic impact, food access, fishing, farming, COVID-19, food service management, labor, policy, and procurement. Others are specific to college and university campus dining, K-12 schools, health care, or corrections.

What you'll find in the database

Are you a researcher looking for resources on the economic impact of farm to institution? Try a “cross-sector” search with the “economic impact” tag and you’ll find things like:

  • 50 State Food System Scorecard: Ranking the States on Farm and Food Health, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Costs and Returns to New England Farmers in the Farm-to-institution Supply Chain, Jill Fitzsimmons
  • Local Food Marketing Practices Survey, USDA
  • Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement, Crossroads Resource Center, Illinois Public Health Institute

Are you a college food service director looking for resources to include more local language in your food service contracts? Try a “campus” search with a “food service management” tag and you’ll find things like: 

  • Setting the Table for Success: A Toolkit for Increasing Local Food Purchasing by Institutional Food Service Management, Farm to Institution New England
  • Case Study: Maine Food for the UMaine System, Farm to Institution New England 
  • Webinar: A Food Service Consultant’s Guide to Serving More Local food at Institutions, Farm to Institution New England 

Or maybe you are looking for resources on the impact of COVID-19 on K-12 schools. Select “K-12” as the sector and “COVID-19” for the topic to find resources like: 

  • SNAP State by State Covid-19 Waivers, USDA
  • Webinar: Serving Meals During Covid-19: Sharing Promising Strategies, Tips and Tricks, No Kid Hungry
  • How School Districts Are Feeding Students During Closures, Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy

Resources are selected using FINE's resource filter. If you know of a resource that meets these criteria, we want to hear from you! Questions and feedback can be directed to Sarah Lyman, FINE Communications Manager, [email protected]

The resource database is the latest in FINE’s set of farm to institution tools. FINE also maintains a metrics dashboard, featuring data on the scope and impact of food procurement by K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, and hospitals. And FINE’s series of case studies dives deeply into stories from New England institutions, such as Maine’s Colby College, New Hampshire’s Seabrook School, and Massachusetts’ Boston Medical Center.

About FINE

Farm to Institution New England (FINE) is the backbone organization for a six-state network of nonprofit, public, and private entities working to mobilize the power of regional institutions to transform the food system. They work to increase the amount of good, local food served in the region’s schools, hospitals, colleges and other institutions. The FINE network consists of non-profit organizations, government agencies, institutions, foundations, farms, food distributors, food processors, food service operators and others.