UMass Dartmouth receives prestigious grant for sustainable, local dining

The university looks to increase awareness of regional food offerings

Students eating at Birch Grill

UMass Dartmouth is a 2018 recipient of the Kendall Foundation Food Vision Prize. The university will receive $250,000 to create educational opportunities for students to learn about the importance of using local, sustainable food as well as improve systems to increase the use of local offerings.

According to the Kendall Foundation website, 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.

UMass Dartmouth will create an appetite and demand for local food amongst the student population by working with the New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center to provide educational opportunities about using less popular fish like Pollock and monkfish. The university will also alter procurement structures to create simpler connections to local vendors. By combining more awareness with greater access, the university commits that 75% of all fish served on campus will be locally sourced by 2020.

Through another Kendall Foundation Prize, the university is also collaborating with Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Northeastern University, and Eastern Connecticut State University to incorporate kelp, New England’s most bountiful sea vegetable, in student meals.

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