UNH food system leadership honored

Saturday, June 1, 2019

On June 11 and June 13, UNH will be recognized for its food system leadership.

UNH's Tom Kelly
Tom Kelly

Tom Kelly, executive director of the Sustainability Institute and UNH’s chief sustainability officer, is a recipient of the K. Dun Gifford “Local Hero” award. Food Solutions New England (FSNE), an initiative of the Sustainability Institute, will receive a leadership award from the Interaction Institute for Social Change (IISC). The awards honor UNH’s effort in imagining a food system in which everyone thrives, and the university’s role in bringing people together to further a sustainable food vision.

The K. Dun Gifford award honors “a New Englander who through some medium of food (author, writer, educator, chef, grower, producer, activist, nutritionist) has positively affected our local foodways.” Previous K. Dun Gifford awardees are Frances Moore Lappé, Dr. Walter Willett and Rebecca Alssid. Kelly is being recognized for his work with FSNE.

“I am so honored to receive the K. Dun Gifford award on behalf of my wonderful colleagues at the sustainability institute and our many dedicated collaborators across New Hampshire and New England working to build a truly sustainable regional food system that is a driver of equity, health, and thriving rural and urban community for all the people of New England,” Kelly says.

Kelly will receive the award at The Readable Feast on June 13, an annual culinary book festival designed to celebrate and support New England’s deep and talented pool of writers, cookbook authors, editors and chefs and connect them with the reading public.

"It is a pleasure to celebrate Tom’s work," says Sara Baer-Sinnott, president of Oldways. “K. Dun Gifford founded Oldways with the vision that the old ways of food – history and culture, agriculture and sustainability, health and nutrition – are essential to preserve and promote for a healthier and happier life. I wish Dun had met Tom. He would have admired his work at the Sustainability Institute.”

FSNE’s work will also be recognized on June 11 at IISC’s 25th anniversary celebration. IISC builds collaborative capacity in individuals, organizations and networks working for social justice and racial equity. The leadership awards will celebrate individuals and organizations that have contributed to social justice and racial equity in 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. The FSNE initiative has demonstrated national leadership over the past nine years by convening six New England Food Summits, offering the annual 21-Day Racial Equity Challenge and organizing the annual Network Leadership Institute training programs. 

“We have had the pleasure of working with FSNE for a number of years," says Kelly Bates, president of IISC. “It has been fulfilling to see how far FSNE has come in growing a robust network grounded in equity and collaboration, and I’m looking forward to celebrating their accomplishments and continuing the work to power more people for collective action in New England.”