Andrew Kendall (MBA 1988) is on a mission to change the way New England eats. As executive director of the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, his family’s philanthropic organization, he is dedicated to creating a “resilient and healthy food system in New England that increases the production and consumption of local, sustainably produced food.”
That mission was inspired by the work of Food Solutions New England (FSNE), an organized network of agricultural experts, farmers, academics, concerned citizens, and regional grassroots organizations working to overcome barriers to increased local food production.
“Their work is quite compelling for us,” says Kendall. “They’ve created a bold and provocative vision—‘50 by 60’—that says that we in New England can produce 50 percent of our food locally by 2060.”
Since 2011, the Kendall Foundation has granted $17 million to a handful of high-impact programs like FSNE that take aim at statewide food policies, large-scale food operations, and regional food infrastructures to spark the innovations that have already begun to move the region closer to that goal.
One such program is with the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, which serves students and staff nearly 6 million meals per year. Through a multi-year grant, the school has developed new relationships with local growers, processors, and distributors and funded educational and marketing efforts to create an engaged campus community. Beyond the campus, the program’s impact is evident in a revitalized farming community in the surrounding areas and at other nearby colleges and school systems that are using the UMass model to start similar programs.
(Published December 2015)
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