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Cambridge, MA – Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) was announced today by the Henry P. Kendall Foundation as a winner of the 2018 New England Food Vision Prize, an effort to encourage college and university campuses in the region to work together to increase the amount of regionally-produced food on campus menus. Last April, the Foundation challenged food service leaders from the region’s more than 200 college and university campuses to submit bold, collaborative, catalytic ideas for consideration of awards of up to $250,000. Five winning ideas emerged, and among them, a proposal by a multi-institution team that includes HUDS, Boston College and Tufts University.

“For more than 60 years, the H.P. Kendall Foundation has supported visionary projects and leaders,” said Foundation Executive Director Andrew Kendall. "By leveraging the large-scale buying power of the region’s colleges and universities, we can create the consistent long-term demand local farmers, fishers, and ranchers need to sustain and grow their operations. The ideas represented by this round’s winners reflect the kind of ingenuity we need to build a healthier, more sustainable food system in our region."

Harvard University, Boston College, and Tufts University will work with the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, Costa Fruit & Produce, and CommonWealth Kitchen, to bridge our region’s seasonal growing gap with strategic storage and processing solutions. New England farmers will be incentivized to expand acres of farmland in production and campus consumers will be able to enjoy more of the region’s bounty year-round.

“We have great relationships with our peer dining programs,” said David Davidson, Managing Director for HUDS, “so it’s natural to work together and hopefully create new opportunities for local farmers. We want to pool our collective volume needs on key produce items, and inspire farmers to either expand the land they farm to meet that volume, or develop year-round growing methods to increase their economic opportunities in the traditional off-season.” 

The New England Food Vision Prize is designed to accelerate progress towards the New England Food Vision, a regional goal to produce at least 50% of New England’s own food by 2060, while supporting healthy food for all, sustainable farming and fishing, and creating thriving communities. One high-leverage strategy to accelerate the region towards this goal is to unlock the market power of large food purchasers, like colleges and universities. The Prize is designed to support ideas that result in higher procurement of regional food by institutions, more regional food on campus menus, and increased demand for regional food by students while on campus and beyond the campus as alumnae.

Campus food service directors were eligible to submit ideas for consideration. To qualify, ideas had to meet five areas of criteria:

  • Collaborative: Project teams were required to identify and collaborate with partners that will advance the goal.
  • Replicable: Ideas for the New England Food Prize had to think beyond the dynamics at play on any one campus.
  • Sustainable: Good ideas are based on a systems-approach and designed to last.
  • Measurable: Applicants shared ways they plan on quantifying and qualifying progress on increasing regional food procurement and generating increased demand for regional food.
  • Movement-building: Ideas for the Prize demonstrated how they will contribute to the growing movement demanding local food through organizing, engaging, advocating, or educating.

The Henry P. Kendall Foundation is a New England philanthropic enterprise that is part of a strong and rapidly expanding network aiming to create a resilient and healthy New England food system. For a full list of 2018 Prize winners, please visit

Harvard University Dining Services operates 13 residential dining halls, 15 campus retail cafes, a kosher kitchen and complete catering services.  The country’s oldest collegiate foodservice operation, HUDS serves approximately 25,000 meals a day.


Harvard Contact:

Crista Martin

Director for Strategic Initiatives & Communication

Harvard University Dining Services


Kendall Foundation Contact:

Kalila Booker-Cassano

Program Associate

Henry P. Kendall Foundation





Press Release:
Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 11:00am

Cambridge, MA – Nearly three-and-a-half years after they created Forward Food plant-based culinary training at Harvard, Chef Wanda White and Ken Botts of the Humane Society of the United States returned to campus on June 4 and 5, 2018 to lead Harvard University Dining Services’ (HUDS) chefs and managers through a two-day intensive training and tasting on plant-based cuisine.