NewsDec 3, 2019

Lesley wins New England Food Vision Prize

Lesley is part of collaborative to receive $250,000 award to increase local and regional food on campus

Students in the renovated dining hall sitting in chairs and getting food in a buffet line

The Henry P. Kendall Foundation announced yesterday that Lesley University is among the 2019 winners of the New England Food Vision Prize, an effort to encourage college and university campuses in the region to improve the health, sustainability, and vitality of the region’s food system.

This marks the second annual round of $250,000 prizes, which invites food service leaders from the region’s 200 college and university campuses to submit bold, collaborative and catalytic ideas to increase the amount of regionally produced food on campus menus.

The foundation announced six teams of winners yesterday representing 16 campuses, including Lesley University. Each of the six teams of winners will receive an award of up to $250,000 to begin implementation of their project.

“We are thrilled to have sparked such interest and creative thinking within just two short years,” said Foundation Executive Director Andrew Kendall. “The winning teams and their partners are leveraging their purchasing clout in the marketplace together with engaging their students to create the consistent, long-term demand that local farmers, fishers, and ranchers need to sustain and grow their operations. We believe that the ideas represented by this year’s winners reflect the kind of ingenuity needed to build a healthier, sustainable food system in New England.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lesley University, and Emmanuel College, in partnership with Commonwealth Kitchen, Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center, Boston Area Gleaners and PV Grows, propose to work with food service provider Bon Appetit Management Company to create a portfolio of “Food from Here” products that will be utilized across campus kitchens, retail locations, residential halls, and at MIT’s at-cost grocery store. Chefs at the institutions will work with the project’s processing partners to analyze campus menus and recommend products for the “Food from Here” portfolio. These partners, along with Boston Area Gleaners, will identify local suppliers, who will receive the support they need to become a part of the supply chain.

The New England Food Vision Prize is designed to accelerate progress towards the New England Food Vision, a bold vision that calls for our region to produce at least 50 percent of our food by 2060, while supporting healthy food for all, sustainable farming and fishing, and thriving communities. The prize is designed to support ideas that result in higher procurement of regional food by institutions, more regional food on campus menus, and increased demand for regional food by students while on campus and beyond the campus as alumni.

Ideas for the prize were required to be collaborative, meaning winning ideas had to represent two or more campuses working together. Ideas also had to be replicable and sustainable, applicable outside of the specific contextual factors of one campus or one period of time. Applicants also had to demonstrate how they would measure impact, and include elements of movement-building, such as growing demand or knowledge around regionally produced food.

The Henry P. Kendall Foundation is a New England philanthropic enterprise that is part of a strong and rapidly expanding network aiming to create a resilient and healthy New England food system.

For a full list of prize winners, please visit kendall.org/prize.