Home > Projects

A big part of what we do is connect our network partners and support their work, but we also run our own projects that address specific issues along the farm to institution supply chain. This includes supply chain research, food processing collaboration, food service contract support, farmer wholesale readiness assistance and more. Looking for information specific to schools, colleges, and hospitals? Visit our sector pages >

Farm to Campus

FINE's Farm & Sea to Campus Program aims to increase the amount of local food served in colleges, universities, and residential high schools. We bring together advocates, dining staff, faculty, students, and businesses to spur change in food purchasing patterns, encourage healthy eating, and empower a new generation of food activists. 

FINE launched the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network to serve a community of higher education and food systems stakeholders. To join the network, contact Tania Taranovski at tania@farmtoinst.org

Are you a dining director or chef at an institution? Join our dining operator listserv and check out our recipe series, both resources that we developed to help you use more local and regional food. 


Metrics Dashboard

FINE's metrics dashboard provides a snapshot of the farm to institution sector in New England. The dashboard shows the scope and impact of food procurement by K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, and hospitals. It also shows how these and other types of institutions impact New England food producers and food distributors. Data comes from our own surveys as well as other sources including the USDA Farm to School Census and Census of Agriculture, and Health Care Without Harm's Healthy Food in Health Care Survey.

Metrics Dashboard

Food Service

FINE's Food Service Program is a multi-year effort that aims to inform action by increasing the understanding of how food service management companies work. We also help institutions utilize the request for proposal and contract negotiation processes to increase purchases of local food. 

Findings of our research are featured in an online local food purchasing toolkit that includes key recommendations for institutions and advocates! 

The toolkit builds on a foundation laid in 2015, when we published two reports on food service management company operations. Next steps include more outreach and engagement to put the toolkit to use. 


Food Processing

The New England Local Food Processors’ community of practice (COP) provides a forum for local processors to share information, visit each other’s facilities, and develop collaborative solutions to common problems. The COP is helping representatives from seven New England food processing facilities be better equipped to meet and overcome their challenges, and pass what they are learning to other processors in New England and beyond. 

Our goal is to help existing processing facilities become more efficient at processing local produce and meat for institutions and share best practices with new facilities. Participants are learning valuable information about topics like processing equipment, plant design, and food safety. 


Food Hubs

In March 2018, FINE published a report that outlines four recommendations to enhance collaboration between food hubs and increase the sale of local food to institutions in New England.

New England Food Hub Report



Food Policy

In March 2018, FINE convened a policy workgroup comprised of over two dozen stakeholders from across New England to help guide and support FINE's policy initiatives. Nessa Richman, Rhode Island Food Policy Council Network Director, and Sue Anderbois, Rhode Island Director of Food Strategy, chair this workgroup. This past year members of the workgroup have been integral to shaping FINE's policy priorities, including the production of a policy scan and database containing key state legislation impacting institutional procurement of local foods across the region.


Photo courtesy of the USDA Farm to School Program