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Harvard Forest Plays Key Role in Regional Food Summit

February 20, 2020
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Screenshot from Food Summit livestream showing speaker Brian Donahue at podium at left and report cover of New England Food Vision at right, which shows a diverse group of young people harvesting garden food

In the months leading up to the New England Food, Farms, Fisheries, and Forests summit on February 19, HF Director David Foster and HF Research Associate Brian Donahue met regularly with with leaders at Harvard, the American Farmland Trust, and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare to create a first-of-its-scale program that would explore food production, health, sustainability, and social justice with perspectives from non-profit, academic, indigenous, and business communities.

The event - sponsored in partnership with Harvard Forest, Food Solutions New England, and Harvard's Chan School of Public Health, Kennedy School of Government, and Law School - included talks on resilience and emergency preparedness in our local food system, the cultural and logistical shifts needed for a "planetary health diet," and racial equity and indigenous perspectives on food justice and land access. David Foster and colleague Spencer Meyer from the Highstead Foundation contributed a regional Wildlands and Woodlands perspective that spoke to specific policy and finance mechanisms that pave the way for a resilient and equitable regional food system.

Multiple break-out sessions facilitated small-group, solutions-oriented discussions among attendees.

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