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Funders Collaborate for Food Systems Change

I am honored to be a member of the Funders Delegation to this year's New England Food Summit in Boston. Among the 165 delegates to the Summit will be 20 representatives of funding organizations from each of the six states who are focused on strengthening the food system in our region. Each of the funding organizations provides support to a wide range of organizations who are leading impressive change initiatives that address the many complex aspects of a resilient and equitable food system--they are ensuring access to healthy food for everyone, increasing production of local food, preserving farmland, harvesting local seafood and advocating for local fishermen, procuring local food from farms and fisheries for schools and hospitals, and promoting policy change that enables all of it. 

As funders, we know that our success depends on the success of our grantee partners who are doing the work on the ground. The Summit provides a unique opportunity to directly learn from and collaborate with these partners. If we are to achieve the ambitious vision for a sustainable and resilient regional food system that is being imagined for New England, it will require all of us to co-create this future together--funders, non-profits, farmers, producers, legislators, community leaders, and citizens. 

Food Solutions New England is helping to create the forums that bring together these many diverse perspectives so that we can listen to one another and find ways to work together toward a common future. Each of the previous four annual Summits has strengthened our connections and surfaced important areas of focus for collective attention and action. I look forward to participating in the 5th Annual Summit and seeing what new ideas emerge!

 

Courtney Bourns is a senior program officer at the Henry P. Kendall Foundation and a member of the Food Solutions New England Core Team

Featured image of UMass Amherst Dining courtesy of the Kendall Foundation.