Audience: Academic/Researcher

Farmers Market Coalition

During 2020, FRESHFARM, an organization that manages farmers markets in the Washington, D.C., area, piloted a relatively low-cost device that counts the number of pings from mobile phones as they connect with a Wi-Fi network. This technology does not reveal any of the phone owner’s identifying information, nor does it collect data from phones. Instead, these counts provide a way for farmers market managers to estimate the number of visitors and their length of…

Farm to Institution New England

This brief highlights how healthcare facilities implemented and expanded local food initiatives during the pandemic as a means to effectively feed and care for healthcare constituents while also investing in the local food economy. Specifically, by leveraging existing partnerships and value chains, healthcare organizations moved quickly to serve their stakeholders through onsite retail (e.g. grocery) locations and expanded community supported agriculture (CSA) or produce subscription programs while continuing to support local food producers whose…

LEE Initiative

To maintain these relationships, and to create the foundation for a more resilient restaurant industry, the LEE Initiative provided stipends to local farms in 20 regions across the U.S. to ensure continued food production for restaurants. These farmers were then given a list of selected independent restaurants that could purchase farm products on credit provided by the program. This allowed restaurants to lower ingredient costs while still acquiring local products, providing high-quality food to…

Wallace Center At Winrock International

Many hubs took elements of a Community Supported Agriculture model- which guarantees a market for farmers, provides customers a food box on a regular schedule, and strives to match the needs of farmers and growers. Local food hubs, even those that didn’t run CSAs, were able to collarborate with partners and use these models to manage this massive market shift. Hubs also had the advantage of highly developed logistics and last-mile delivery….

WSU Bread Lab

Regional small grain value chains link local farmers, regional mills, and artisan bakers to consumers looking to support local food systems. Through the rise in popularity of artisan baking and craft brewing, the sector has enjoyed significant growth in the past decade. Identifying as ‘non-commodity’, these value chains prioritize diversified and regionalized markets, high quality grains, long term relationships between stakeholders, fair pricing, and skilled labor. The result is fresh, stone-milled specialty grain products…
Students at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy launched the Friedman Food Systems COVID-19 Connector (“Connector”), a service learning program utilizing an online platform to match organizations seeking technical assistance in their responses to COVID-19 to Tufts students with corresponding skills and interests….

Local Catch Network (University of Maine)

There are a lot of different types of tourism “trails,” from vineyards to bird watching hotspots. Oyster Trails are an emerging concept that combine food, agritourism, and shellfish farming. These trails have existed in the United States since at least the early 2000s, but have proliferated in recent years. Each Oyster Trail is unique, but most can be distinguished by two common features. First, does the Oyster Trail define routes or is it set…

Center for Environmental Farming Systems

The need for social distancing measures drastically changed operations at the Small Farm Unit at CEFS Field Research, Education, and Outreach Facility at Cherry Research Farm in Goldsboro, NC. With more than 5,000 transplants in the greenhouse at the Small Farm Unit, it became imperative to find solutions to maintain essential operations to not lose the crop. Thanks to creative thinking and technological innovation, they were able to prepare the field and transplant many…

The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice

Colleges and universities across the United States and around the world are scrambling to keep their students, faculty, and staff healthy, safe, and educated during the COVID-19 pandemic. As experts on the daily crises that derail #RealCollege students and prevent them from completing their degrees our team at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice offers the following considerations and resources to support your work….

CSA Innovation Network

CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Fairs, events where farmers hold meet-and-greets with potential customers for the upcoming CSA season, largely came to a halt this spring due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings. In response, many farmers and organizations transitioned into online events featuring Facebook sharing of farm stories and farmer meet-and-greets via Zoom. This Innovation Brief highlights the positive outcomes of this unexpected pivot and the ways in which these platforms will be used in…

Farryl Bertmann University of Vermont, Emily H. Belarmino University of Vermont, Thomas Wentworth University of Vermont, Erin Biehl Johns Hopkins University, Roni Neff Johns Hopkins University

To understand how food systems and security are impacted during this pandemic, an online survey was launched in Vermont from March 29 – April 12, 2020 (less than a week after the “Stay Home/Stay Safe” order). This brief summarizes survey findings and respondent comments about experiences with two programs during the early weeks of the pandemic: the National School Lunch Program (school meals) and food pantries….

Farm to Institution New England

As part of FINE's work on how COVID-19 is impacting institutional food systems, this blog highlights how the COVID-19 virus has profoundly disrupted food operations in prisons and jails. Mark McBrine, Food Service Manager at the Mountain View Correctional Facility, shares how the Maine Department of Corrections has adapted their protocols to protect against the virus while demonstrating the benefits of sourcing local quality food….

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture NASDA Foundation

The Florida Seasonal Crop COVID-19 Impact Assessment was assembled utilizing phone interviews with growers on April 15, 2020. It must be noted that markets as well as selling and purchase strategies change rapidly, almost daily, for most crop sectors with the current conditions of the market. Fluctuations for some of the projected figures could be expected….
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