We hope that the dashboard will be a useful tool for anyone who chooses to look at it, including those who are not food systems “experts.” For those who would like more context, we have developed these introductory resources. Data and materials here are about the whole New England food system (not just the part related to institutions).

On this page, we have gathered together a small number of diverse indicators that show how New England states and institutions are putting their commitment to a regional food system into action through by implementing innovative programs, signing pledges developed by good food advocates, and hiring dedicated sustainability staff.

FoodCorps Volunteers in New England

FoodCorps is a nationwide volunteer program that connects kids to real food and helps them grow up healthy. FoodCorps volunteers serve alongside educators and community leaders and partner with schools to create a nourishing environment for all students. They do this by providing students with food and nutrition education, hands-on activities like gardening and cooking, and help to get lunch trays filled with nutritious meals from local farms. There are 37 volunteers now serving in three New England states.

Real Food Campus Commitment Signatories

Real Food Challenge is a national network of student food activists that works to shift university food budgets away from industrial farms and junk food and towards local/community-based, fair, ecologically sound and humane food sources. When a university signs the Real Food Campus Commitment, colleges and universities pledge to buy at least 20% “real food” annually by 2020. Across New England 24 campuses have signed.

Source: Real Food Challenge staff and directory

New England College Sustainability Coordinators

‘Campus Sustainability Coordinator’ is a relatively new job description. When universities decide to hire sustainability coordinators, they are making a clear commitment to managing and coordinating their sustainability initiatives. Often these initiatives include a commitment to purchasing local food. In New England there are a total of 64 sustainability coordinators.

Source: Farm to Institution New England's Farm to College Database

Subscribers to the Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System (STARS)

AASHE STARS is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance. The system includes tracking assessment and ratings of food and beverage purchases. In New England, there are 63 past or current STARS subscribers.

Source: AASHE STARS Website

New England Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Membership

New England Signatories of American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment