Voices from our network


Gratitude to the farm to institution network with special thanks to: Jared Auerbach, Red’s Best; Lilian Brislen, University of Kentucky; Kyle Foley, Gulf of Maine Research Institute; Chris Howland, UMass Amherst; Christine James, John Merck Fund; Lauren Kaskey, Health Care Without Harm; Julius Kolawole, Bami Farm; Randy Liberty, Maine Department of Corrections; Kate Minifie, Western MA Food Processing Center; Kirby Roberts, UMass Dartmouth; Karen Spiller, KAS Consulting; Becca Story, New England Dairy; Gaye Symington, High Meadows Fund; Hilary Walentuk, New England Dairy. Want to add your voice? Contact Peter Allison.

A Note from Executive Director Peter Allison

Dear FINE Friend,

It’s been a year. For so many of us 2020 has been a year full of hardship and hurdles. Pandemic, layoffs, racial injustice, supply chain disruptions, closed campuses, divisive politics, and social distancing from friends and family.

If you feel like I do, you are craving connection to something bigger, to make a difference. As I reflect on the creativity and resilience across our network this year and for the past ten years, I want you to know that you ARE part of something so much bigger.

I write this to you as part of a growing, dynamic network of farmers and fishermen, processors and distributors, food service operators, educators, activists, and care providers bringing nutritious, sustainable, fair, local food to our communities despite immense challenges. You are a part of this community - and you are a source of ongoing inspiration and support for all of us here at FINE.

We count on you. Your hard work and dedication matters. Because of you, our vision comes to life - millions of students, patients, incarcerated people, families, and staff across our region have greater access to local, healthy food every day.

You count on FINE. In the midst of today’s global crisis to foster resilience and innovation in our local food system, you count on FINE to amplify your work by organizing conferences, researching trends, sharing news, and being your connection hub. Just one example: the 4th biennial Farm to Institution Summit in April, 2021 is shaping up to be a powerful gathering of our network, a celebration of the past ten years, and a time to forge our vision for the future.

I count on FINE ...

... to be a thought partner, movement builder, collaborator and accomplice in our shared commitment to creating a just and equitable food system for all.
— Karen Spiller, Food Solutions New England

... to bring together a coalition of like-minded individuals with a common goal to serve more local food.
— Christopher Howland, UMass Amherst

... for the deep research that helps me understand how to support the needs of the New England food system.
— Lauren Kaskey, Health Care Without Harm

... to develop relationships along the value chain to make sure that our produce gets out to schools, colleges, hospitals, and prisons.
— Kate Minifie, Western MA Food Processing Center

... for a perspective that’s wider than the state where I work.
— Gaye Symington, The High Meadows Fund

... for having a great network of people and pushing our local food movement in the right direction.
— Jared Auerbach, Red’s Best

As FINE marks our ten-year anniversary, we are committed to working with you to create a more equitable and just food system in New England. Join us! Help us reach our fundraising goal of $10,000 by the end of the year. Every dollar donated up to $5,000 will be matched by The Sustainable Future Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation!

Please contribute to FINE to keep this work moving into the future. We succeed when you succeed. You succeed when we succeed.

Thank you for all you do!


Peter Allison, FINE Executive Director