Resource Spotlight: Food Solutions New England
Since many of you are embarking on Food Solutions New England’s 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge this month, we thought it would be a great to learn more about FSNE, the work they’re doing around racial equity in the food system, and how they’re transforming the New England food system.
We spoke with Lisa Fernandes, the Communication Director for the FSNE Network. Lisa is working to develop the new regional food Narrative Toolkit, managing the emerging FSNE Strategic Communications plan, and takes on FSNE’s day-to-day communications. You sure are keeping busy and we appreciate the time you’re taking to share out FSNE’s work with the FSLN!
Contact person: Lisa M Fernandes
Link to sign up for listserv, newsletter, etc.: http://www.foodsolutionsne.org/
Domain/Subject Area (Do you focus on a specific area or have an area of expertise? For example: policy, resources for beginning farmers, etc.):
- Food system transformation based on a network-building model.
- Various working groups within our network structure focus on things like policy, participatory leadership, racial equity in the food system, metrics and data, food system narrative and framing, food system connectivity via convening strategies.
Food Solutions New England (FSNE) is a regional, collaborative network organized to support the emergence and continued viability of a New England food system that is a resilient driver of healthy food for all, racial equity, sustainable farming and fishing, and thriving communities.
To do this, we:
- Convene: FSNE convenes diverse individuals, organizations, and other networks working across the food system to develop a common agenda around shared vision and values.
- Cultivate: FSNE cultivates and connects ideas, resources, and leadership that support creative collaborations.
- Champion: FSNE champions the work of those dedicated to food system change in New England and the need for a values-based and aligned collaborative network to realize our longterm goals.
Okay now for the fun stuff…
1. How would you describe FSNE? But there’s a catch… describe FSNE in a haiku!
Food system transformation
The future awaits
2. What does FSNE bring to the (national food systems) table?
FSNE demonstrates what is possible with a steady and firm commitment to a Vision for the future tied intrinsically to a set of shared values.
3. Who does FSNE serve?
FSNE serves the people and places of our region, while also recognizing that we are interconnected to other parts of our world as well. We recognize a complicated past for our region and nation, based on genocide and oppression, while working to transform our regional food system into something that works for everyone for many generations to come. If our work is successful, this includes fishermen, farmers, other food system workers, businesses, schools, institutions and communities throughout New England.
4. What do people/orgs look to you for?
As a network, FSNE fulfills its role of connecting the many food system participants to each other to build trust-based relationships, for learning new skills and capacities, and for mutual aid and reciprocity. We do this across scales (community, state and region) and across different approaches to making change that coexist within our network.
5. What three problems can someone find solutions for on your site?
[web site redesign coming later this year, but….]
- How to get involved in regional food system work that integrates production of food with strong social justice values (production without values would not be considered “success” by our network).
- What events are happening in our region to transform our food system
- Get data (from the New England Food Vision) on how much food could realistically be produced in our region under various scenarios.
6. Are there certain tools or resources that you’ve found especially popular?
- The FSNE 21-Day Racial Equity Habit-Building Challenge (Happening now!! Learn more and register. This happens every April)
- The Network Leadership Institute (applications for the new cohort open May 1)
- The New Narrative Toolkit for Food System Transformation (coming Spring 2019)
- The New England Food Summit (Spring of 2020 then every other year)
- The New England Food Vision (published 2014 and possibly up for a new edition in the next few years)
7. Who can access your resources? How?
Open to all and available via out web site: http://www.foodsolutionsne.org/
8. What other resources or support is FSNE looking for?
We are actively strategizing on updates to our structure and financial resourcing for the second decade of our network. This includes strategic partners that are potentially new to us. This includes living more deeply and seriously into our racial equity and justice values. This will include a thorough examination of what it looks like to reallocate power and resources in food system work.
9. What other “resource-full” organizations would you recommend?
- Farm to Institution New England
- Cooperative Development Institute
- Permaculture Association of the Northeast
- North American Marina Alliance (NAMA) - for fisheries issues
10. How can someone get in touch with you for more information?
- @foodsolutionsne on twitter and Instagram
Thank you FSNE!