Established in March 2020, The New England Food System Resilience Fund is a joint philanthropic effort designed to reinforce, restore, and promote the resilience of the regional food system in a time of unprecedented disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In early November initial funders The Henry P. Kendall Foundation, The John Merck Fund and partner foundations, The 1772 Foundation, The Sandy River Charitable Foundation and The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation approved the transfer of those funds to The New England Grassroots Environment Fund, Inc. (Grassroots Fund), which will assume management of the effort and expand its area of focus to include racial equity. Read more about the original purpose of the fund and decision to transfer its design and stewardship.
Next Steps & Timeline
The Resilience Fund’s remaining balance will transfer to the Grassroots Fund, while fundraising continues. The Grassroots Fund will embrace the Resilience Fund, through their participatory process that uses on open call for application readers and works with a grantmaking committee to make final decisions on resource allocations. Through self-identified demographic data from participants, the Grassroots Fund intentionally brings together groups with diverse lived experiences and builds skills around bias in decision-making, white supremacy culture and system change.
Through the winter, the Grassroots Fund, in partnership with consultants at Karen Karp & Partners, will co-create a landscape analysis of the Northeast food systems with input from frontline organizers, nonprofit colleagues and foundation partners. In parallel a steering committee will be formed that will use this analysis to design grant program priorities, guidelines and application process. The first round of grantmaking is anticipated for Spring 2021 with a goal of distributing up to $400,000 annually to support a just, resilient, equitable food system.
The Grassroots Fund invites those who wish to stay up to date about this transition or to learn more about ways to be involved in the funds evolution to complete a form to indicate interest.
For general questions about the fund contact Bart Westdijk.
For information on contributing to this ongoing funding pool contact Julia Dundorf.