PPLT Named 2023 New England Food Vision Prize Winner

Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust (RI), in collaboration with Open Farms Retreat, Cumberland School District, Roch’s Fresh Foods, and Northeast Organic Farmers Association/MA, was named a recipient of the 2023 New England Food Vision Prize by the Henry P. Kendall Foundation. The award consists of a two-year grant to create a direct farm-to-school pathway in Cumberland, Rhode Island. Funding will support new farm infrastructure and required certifications, beginning-farmer technical assistance and training, and school and community engagement efforts.

Launched by the Henry P. Kendall Foundation in 2018, the New England Food Vision Prize Program aims to increase the amount of local and regional food prepared and served on New England college and university campuses and within K-12 public school districts, helping to strengthen the region’s food system. The Prize program, offered annually, awards grants up to $200,000 to winning teams. Prizes are awarded to projects that build resilience, relationships, and capacity within New England’s academic institutional food supply chain, resulting in increased preparation, sourcing, serving, or use and consumption of local and regional food at K-12 schools and higher education institutions.

Mass Humanities Awards the Indigenous Peoples Network an Expand Massachusetts Stories Grant

The Indigenous Peoples Network has been selected as a grantee by the Expand Massachusetts Stories Initiative of the Massachusetts Humanities Foundation. The grant will fund “Black and Red: The Dilemma of African American-Indigenous Identity in Massachusetts,” a 30-minute film will explore the racial identity of African American-Indigenous members of the Pocasset Wampanoag of the Pokanoket Nation. It was among 42 grantees for cultural projects that include exhibits, documentaries, oral histories and public events. The film will be presented to community and educational members on the campus of Nichols College in Dudley, MA in fall 2024, with opportunity for public discussion. The project will be sponsored by the Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust.

Impressed with Mass Humanities’ commitment to an accurate and inclusive telling of Massachusetts history, Chief George Spring Buffalo a.k.a. Sequan Pijaki,-Yellow Feather, says “Indigenous people come in many shades,” and encourages all ethnicities to “educate themselves on what indigenous community you come from – don’t accept being put into a box because of your skin color.” The Expand Massachusetts Stories initiative offers up to $20,000 for projects that collect, interpret and share narratives about the commonwealth, with an emphasis on the voices and experiences that have gone unrecognized, or have been excluded from public conversation. Since its founding in 1974, Mass Humanities, a non-profit based in Northampton, has provided millions of dollars in support of thousands of humanities projects across the Commonwealth.


Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust to partner with NRCS to help New England farmers and communities

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $70 million in partnerships that will improve outreach to underserved producers and communities to expand access to conservation assistance and career opportunities. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the selection of 139 projects that encourage participation in NRCS programs, especially in underserved communities and among urban and small-scale producers. Projects will extend outreach to producers who are beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged, and veterans, and will highlight opportunities for students to pursue careers in agriculture, natural resources and related sciences.

The Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust program will focus on underserved producers and communities in New England. Objectives include conducting outreach and needs assessments, facilitating partnerships between NRCS and producers, helping producers improve operations through conservation and climate smart practices, and educating high school students about conservation and career opportunities.