We join with you in facing the COVID-19 pandemic with concern, compassion - and action. Our intention at FINE is to stay on top of the rapidly changing conditions and emerging challenges for our partners and their constituents. We are actively updating this page with opportunities to connect, resources, and a matchmaking platform.
- Subscribe to our newsletter The FINE Print: We send out updates, event listings, news, and educational opportunities.
- New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network Facebook Group: This group is for anyone (campuses, distributors, farmers) working in the campus sector - simply request to join the group.
- Dining Operators listserv: FINE hosts this listserv through Google Groups as a collaboration tool for dining program directors, chefs, other food service operators, sustainability managers, and community partners engaged in the procurement, preparation and promotion of foods raised, grown, and produced in New England.
- Contact any FINE Staff Member Directly, or reach Sarah Lyman, Communications Manager, [email protected]
Resources for Institutional Food Systems
Now find COVID-19 resources in our searchable database. Select "COVID-19" from the list of topics. This resource database contains more than 270 resources relevant to New England farm-to-institution, including reports, toolkits, case studies, COVID-19, and more.
COVID-19 Open Forum
FORUMS: INSTITUTIONAL FOOD & COVID-19
Recording: September 17, 2020
It’s been six months since our communities and institutions had to suddenly pivot due to COVID-19. Not one sector has been spared: shifting to virtual classrooms, creating grab-and-go dining, reducing visitors, redirecting supply chains, addressing food insecurity and food access, and confronting racial injustices amplified by the pandemic. Institutions are adapting to the new normal, while continuing to serve as anchors in our communities, and be powerful agents of change in our food system. This open forum featured institutional leaders and also space for the participants to share their experiences, as we learn from each other’s challenges and innovations. Short updates from several sectors were interspersed with breakout sessions. Download the Chat Log and Summary Notes. Presenters were:
- Kyle Foley, senior program manager of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Sustainable Seafood Program
- Rose Bookbinder, Co-Director and Lead Organizer at the Pioneer Valley Workers Center
- Betsy Rosenbluth, Project Director of VT FEED and Coordinator of the Northeast Farm to School Collaborative
- Ibrahim Ali, Co-Executive Director of Gardening the Community
- Liz O’Gilvie, Chair of the Springfield Food Policy Council
- Nikki Ayres, Sales Manager at Farm Fresh Rhode Island
- Kathy Wicks, Sustainability Director at UMass Dining
We are hosting a series of forums for specific sectors and topics. Please let us know if there are other topics you are interested in discussing.
Open Forum Recording, June 11, 2020 This online forum connected those who work at the intersection of the food and carceral systems. Mark McBrine, Food Service Manager for the Maine Department of Corrections (DOC) at Mountain View Correctional Facility, gave an update on their efforts to source local food previously destined for restaurants and processors to the facility food service operation. We recognize that not all of those invested in the corrections sector were represented during the forum, including people who are currently or formerly incarcerated, and people of color, especially black men, who disproportionately represent the incarcerated population. We are eager to expand this network. Please send us suggestions and offer introductions so we can include more voices in future forums.
Open Forum Recording, April 14, 2020 Over the past few weeks, our food system has undergone incredible disruption from the COVID-19 virus. We have seen things bend and break; and we have seen things rise and adapt. In this third forum, we continue the dialogue, and share stories of challenge and solution. We hear from Hilary Walentuk, Nutrition Specialist with the New England Food and Dairy Council; and from Jacob Vincent, Director of Merchandising with the Hanover Coop Food Stores of NH and VT. Download the Chat Log and Summary Notes.
Open Forum Recording, March 31, 2020 In this second virtual forum, we discussed challenges and solutions in the institutional food system as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. More than 70 people participated from New England, around the US, and beyond. Breakout sessions dived more deeply into K-12 schools, Campus (college/university), Health Care, and Production/Farming/Fishing (breakouts are summarized verbally at the end, but were not recorded). Download the Chat Log and Summary Notes.
Open Forum Recording, March 24, 2020 This virtual forum for dining directors and interested partners shared responses to the COVID-19 crisis. Nearly 100 participants from New England and around the United States. Recorded 3-24-20. There was a vibrant discussion in the chat: Download the Chat Log and Summary Notes.
Matching Needs + Surplus
Matching Needs with Surplus
We created a Google Sheet to match up gaps and surplus in the New England institutional food system. We welcome anyone to add, view or contact others on the list directly. Examples of listings may include:
- Those with a surplus of food that need a home (e.g. meat, seafood, vegetables, dairy, processed foods)
- Those looking for local food to serve to displaced constituents
- Those with a need for extra hands at their facilities (e.g. milkers, kitchen staff, drivers)
- Those looking for job opportunities after their institution has closed or reduced labor
- Those with additional storage space for food that needs to be preserved