From Boat to Food Bank to Dining Hall: How Local Chowder Became a Community Solution [Webinar]

Tania Taranovski, Director of Programs

Recorded September 22, 2021; 2 - 3 pm ET

FINE and the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network (FSCN) produced this one-hour webinar to learn more about an inspiring partnership and ways to support local seafood and our regional food system.

Hosted by: Farm to Institution New England and the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network

The Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance (CCCFA) was looking for a way to support its small boat fishermen when the usual markets for their seafood hit hard times during the COVID-19 pandemic. With major support from national philanthropic sources committed to helping fishermen survive the pandemic while serving food-insecure communities, as well as MIT Sea Grant and new partners from across the food system, they developed a seafood chowder from Cape-caught haddock. A true collaboration by local partners, the fish are caught by independent fishermen, processed by a local processor, and made into the chowder by a family-owned company, all based in MA. This chowder helped feed New England communities, going to food banks and community pantries throughout the region. Working with MIT Dining, they then modified packaging and delivery to serve institutional, food service markets as well. 

Join Seth Rolbein of the Cape Cod Fishermen’s Trust, a program under the umbrella of the Fishermen’s Alliance, and Mark Hayes of MIT Dining to learn how this project supports our local food system and fishermen, how they developed this chowder for institutional dining, and how the students, faculty and staff reacted! Whether you’re a dining director, food system advocate, fisherman, or interested in supporting regional food systems, you’ll come away from this webinar inspired by this story of innovation and collaboration.


Tania Taranovski | Director of Programs, Farm to Institution New England


Seth Rolbein | Director, Cape Cod Fisheries Trust

Mark Hayes | Director of Campus Dining, MIT

Speaker Bios

Seth Rolbein stands outside, in front of calm water with sand in the background. Image by David Hills

Seth Rolbein is the Director of the Cape Cod Fisheries Trust. Seth began his career as a journalist in the mid-Cape in the 1970s. He then joined WGBH-TV in Boston as a writer, reporter and documentary filmmaker, also writing for many regional and national publications, including The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. His magazine and book-length fiction and non-fiction has spanned many topics (and continents), and his documentaries on National Public Television have won multiple national awards. Throughout, the Cape has been his home; our relationship to the oceans and the survival of our fishing community has been a recurring theme. He became editor-in-chief of the region's weekly newspaper chain before starting The Cape Cod Voice as the newsmagazine's founding editor and publisher. Most recently, he served for six years as chief of staff and then senior adviser for Cape and Islands Senator Dan Wolf, translating a journalist’s perspective into public policy initiatives.

Mark Hayes is crouching in a fenced garden holding small beets.

Mark Hayes, Ed.D., is the Director of Campus Dining at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a role he has held since 2018. He previously worked at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs (UCCS), where he oversaw dining and hospitality services and several auxiliary business services including the book store, and a campus working farm. Before UCCS, Mark oversaw dining and summer conference operations at the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, and at Harvard, where he managed dining in the Quincy House residential community and in the kosher kitchen in Rosovsky Hall, home to Harvard Hillel. Beyond his campus dining experience, Mark opened restaurants in the Netherlands and Singapore, and in 2001 helped open Italian eatery Lidia’s Pittsburgh with Beard Award-winning chef Lidia Bastianich.

Images courtesy Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen's Alliance and Cape Cod Fisheries Trust

FINE Fall & winter Webinars

FINE’s Farm & Sea to Campus webinars create peer-to-peer learning opportunities for dining program directors, chefs, foodservice operators, supply chain businesses, and community partners who procure and promote New England food. Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you don't miss future events!

From Boat to Food Bank to Dining Hall: How Local Chowder Became a Community Solution // Recording available

Labor in Farm to Institution Supply Chains Part 1: Prison Labor and the Need for Transparency // Recording available

Campus Food Security Part 1: Creating and Sustaining Food Pantries // Recording available

Campus Food Security, Part 2: Bunker Hill Community College and Food Link’s Community-Focused Partnership // Recording available

Labor in Farm to Institution Supply Chains Part 2: Incorporating Worker Values into Local Food Procurement // Recording available

Why You Need USDA's National Agricultural Library for Your Farming and Food Systems Work // Recording available

FINE Fall & winter Webinars