Posted on March 23, 2020 by Sustainable Food News

Pandemic spurs campus dining group to match food surplus, demand

Farm to Institution New England (FINE) to host virtual forum for dining directors amid Covid-19 crisis

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:

FOOD ACCESS

FINANCIAL SUPPORT

SCHOOL MEALS

FARMERS, FARMERS’ MARKETS, FARMING

STATE-SPECIFIC RESOURCE LISTS

REMOTE WORK

& MORE

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