Farm to Institution New England (FINE) said it has heard from stakeholders in the New England institutional food system that there is a need to connect those with surplus food and labor with those who need it amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Hartland, Vt.-based nonprofit said it has created a spreadsheet to match up gaps and surplus in the region’s supply chain for institutions, and is asking members of the supply chain to provide it with more listings to help those in need.
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
FINE also launched a survey on Monday to find out what the most pressing Covid-19 challenges are for the industry, including institutions, farmers, processors, advisers, funders, and allies.
On Tuesday, FINE will be hosting a virtual forum for dining directors and interested partners to share responses to the Covid-19 crisis.
During the online event, taking place at 2 p.m. ET, the discussion will range from food safety protocols, budgets to supporting your staff in times of need and how we can deploy and share resources to meet shifting needs and priorities. Join the forum here on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET.
FINE also has released the following resource guide for the institutional food supply chain regarding the Covid-19 pandemic:
- Corona virus and food access, The Rockefeller Foundation
- Funders, this is the rainy day you have been saving up for, Vu Le, Nonprofit AF Blog
- Land-to-Sea Mutual Aid Fund – To support student, customer, and harvester families whose livelihoods are impacted by COVID-19
- Baker-Polito Administration Announces $10 Million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund for MA-based small businesses
- COVID-19 Rapid Response Seed Funding from the New England Grassroots Fund. For groups in New England. Reduced eligibility criteria to support community response. Awards up to $1,000; 2-3 day application approval time.
- No Kid Hungry Emergency Relief Grants. $1M in rolling real time funding for schools and community organizations that are making sure kids have access to the meals they need as schools close due to coronavirus. Eg home delivered meals, grab and go meals programs, school and community pantries, backpack programs.
- USDA proposed a number of changes to school meal programs – comment period ends March 23, 2020
- As Coronavirus Closes Schools, USDA Offers Limited Help to Kids Who Rely on School Meals, updated 3/12/20, Civil Eats
- COVID-19 & School Food: Resources & Support – from Chef Ann Foundation
FARMERS, FARMERS’ MARKETS, FARMING
- Farmers Markets Response to COVID-19
- Farm Fresh RI delivering food in Market Mobile
- NOFA-VT is connecting skilled milkers (and paying them) with farmers in need
- National Young Farmer’s Coalition is surveying beginning farmers, aggregating a resource database, sharing food safety resources, and moving online with organizing and advocacy.
STATE-SPECIFIC RESOURCE LISTS
- New Hampshire Food Systems – from NH Food Alliance
- Vermont Crowdsourced COVID-19 resource list, organized by region