Our food system is broken. Too many people don’t have enough food, and the foundations that our food supply depends on are being destroyed.
Fixing this problem starts with you and me. Food Solutions New England is building a network to connect New England residents to address these goals:
- Promote healthy food for all
- Promote sustainable farming and fishing
- Promote thriving communities
- Promote racial equity and food justice
The network, launched in 2011 at the New England Food Summit, is calling on New England residents to take an active role in moving us towards A New England Food Vision. The movement needs your support to leave behind a world in which hunger and obesity coexist, where soil and water resources are damaged, and where people do not receive living wages or fair treatment while growing, catching, processing, preparing, or selling our food – to create a food system that serves us all.
Join with others to take action to advance A New England Food Vision.
Spread the Word about the Vision
- Write an article or letter for your local newspaper talking about the vision to build the capacity to create a system in which everyone has access to adequate food, everyone enjoys a healthy diet, food is sustainably produced, and food helps build thriving communities, and that provides 50% of New England’s food needs.
- Ask five friends to learn about the New England Food Vision.
- Organize an event to celebrate and promote local foods with a community organization (examples: your church, your school, your local boy or girl scout troop, sports events, your neighborhood association) and distribute copies of the Vision summary. Contact us for copies.
Buy, Grow, and Eat Food that reflects the values of the Vision
- Get to know your local farmers and fishermen. Support them by buying food at farmers’ markets and through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and Community Supported Fishery (CSF) shares.
- Support businesses that source from local/regional producers. Thank them for sourcing local. If your favorite restaurant/food store doesn’t, ask them to!
- Plant something edible in your yard, in a container, in a community garden. Share some of your harvest.
- Commit to spending more of your food budget on local/regional products.
- Embrace biodiversity – choose seasonal and less popular varieties and species for flavor, ecosystem health, and viable farming and fishing businesses. Try different breeds to support resilience.
- Support locally owned food businesses with healthy working conditions and livable wages.
- Cook one family meal a week using fresh, local foods.
- Create a home menu plan for the whole week and incorporate at least 5 local foods.
- Include your children in cooking and food preparation at least once a week.
- Make half your plate fruit and vegetables. Choose at least one fruit or vegetable that is grown in New England.
- Get to know where your food comes from.
Share Food with Others
- Teach a child in your life about a New England grown vegetable or a New England caught fish they did not know about.
- Mentor the next generation – plant a garden, support farm-to-school, involve kids in cooking.
- Preserve (can, dry, freeze, or ferment) fresh vegetables or fruits from a garden or farmers market and share some with a neighbor or friend.
- Volunteer at a community farm or garden or a nearby food bank or pantry.
- Help start or maintain a community garden plot to donate to a local pantry.
- Plant a fruit tree somewhere where neighbors can benefit from it.
Advocate for values of the Vision
- Ask a school, hospital, college, or other institution in your community to join the campaigns:
- Join the campaign for a livable wage.
- Commit to better understanding and addressing racism - consult the resource page for the FSNE 21 Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge for ideas.
- Join or attend meetings of a local food policy council or similar group in your area.
- Find out what’s happening with food system planning in your state. Get involved if you can.
- Talk with the planning commission in your community about the importance of ensuring access to healthy food and protecting farmland and working waterfronts. Advocate at state/federal level, support organizations working on these issues.
- Advocate for local and sustainably grown/sourced food in your community, institutions, and public policies.
Reach out across lines of difference (racial, gender, class, cultural, political) and take time to get to know one another’s story (around food!).
- Start a school garden.
- Talk with the principal at your child’s school about the importance of including opportunities to learn about food and agriculture in the curriculum.
- Ask your child’s teacher to celebrate events with New England foods.
- Talk with the planning commission in your community about the importance of ensuring access to healthy food and protecting farmland and working waterfronts.
- Support programs that promote access to nutritious, culturally appropriate food for all.
- Connect locally with a regional food network.
Connect with the Food Solutions New England network
- Visit the Food Solutions New England website, where you’ll find resources that can help you advance these actions.
- Learn about what’s happening around the region through FSNE’s newsletter, blog, and social media.
- Write an story about how your work aligns with the New England Food Vision and publish in your own newsletter or to be featured through the Food Solutions New England newsletter, blog, or website.
- Join the discussion by ‘liking’ Food Solutions New England on Facebook, following @_fsne on twitter, tweeting using the hashtag #50by60, and sharing your stories through the Food Solutions New England website.
- Ask three other organizations you work with to learn about the New England Food Vision and share the story of their work with the network.
- If you don’t already participate, join or attend meetings of a local food policy council or similar group in your area.
- Assess how the Vision can be incorporated into your organization’s strategic plan.
- If you are buying food, choose to buy from New England farmers and fisherman whenever possible. Check out www.localharvest.org as one way to find local farmers.
- Participate in or sponsor a local food systems event or conference.
- Hold a staff volunteer day at a nearby farm or food pantry.
- Write an story about how your organization’s work aligns with the New England Food Vision and publish in your own newsletter or to be featured through the Food Solutions New England newsletter, blog, or website.
- Sponsor a community garden.
- Facilitate meetings with others striving to meet the New England Food Vision 50x60 goal to see how collective action supports the Vision.
- Distribute copies of a New England Food Vision summary at your next event.
- If your organization buys food, commit to sourcing as close to twenty percent of your food products from New England as possible.