The Massachusetts Food System Collaborative (MFSC) was created following the completion of the Massachusetts Local Food Action Plan in December 2015. The Collaborative seeks to promote, monitor, and facilitate implementation of the Plan, as encompassed by its four main goals:
The Plan provides direction for the Collaborative. Hundreds of people and organizations throughout the state contributed their voices to the Plan, and we engage a diverse range of stakeholders in working toward its recommendations. Our relationships with organizations, public sector agencies and policymakers, and other food system stakeholders around the state inform the Collaborative’s priorities. We work toward policy change that will contribute to a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient food system by building broad support for advocacy campaigns and providing training and other resources to allow partners to participate effectively. We bring together players throughout the food system in an effort to demonstrate the breadth of the food system, and facilitate opportunities for stakeholders to work collaboratively.
Through these networks, we lead advocacy campaigns around items in the Plan that emphasize cross-sectoral collaboration; support equity, sustainability, and resilience in the food system; and have the potential for significant impact through coordinated grassroots efforts. These efforts work toward systemic solutions to targeted problems, increase communication among key stakeholders, and highlight and promote the sharing of best practices.
Supporting collective action toward an equitable, sustainable, resilient, and connected local food system in Massachusetts.
The Collaborative’s steering committee is:
The Executive Director of the Collaborative is Kristina Racek Pechulis.
Kristina comes to the Collaborative after teaching undergraduate classes at Simmons University for the past ten years. She has taught a variety of classes including, Massachusetts politics, Constitutional Law, and food policy. Kristina was also the director of a competitive fellowship program that placed Simmons students with legislators at the Massachusetts State House. Prior to her work at Simmons, Kristina served as the Director of the Lynn Food and Fitness Alliance through the City of Lynn Public Health Department, as Legislative Director and General Counsel to a state senator in the Massachusetts state legislature, and as an Assistant Corporation Counsel at the City of Boston.
The Policy Director is Rebecca Miller
Rebecca Miller is the Policy Director at the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative. At the Collaborative, she advocates for the organization’s policy priorities to the legislature and state agencies, and leads advocacy campaigns to support a resilient, equitable, and sustainable local food system. She is an experienced organizer and facilitator and is well regarded in the agricultural community for her skills as a policy advocate and advocacy trainer. She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Clark University.
The Agricultural Equity Policy Network Manager is Norris Guscott.
Norris leads a statewide working group that is facilitating connections between BIPOC farmers, building that network’s capacity for policy advocacy that supports equity in the local food system. Norris is also Public Health Coordinator in Lynn, MA, where he manages and facilitates community partnerships to address food insecurity and improve other public health intersections.
The Network Manager is Emily Fidanza
Emily facilitates our Local Food Policy Councils, Urban Agriculture, and Food Waste network groups and the Campaign for Food Literacy. Emily previously worked at Health Resources in Action where she was a Program Officer working on the Massachusetts Community Health and Healthy Aging Funds. She has experience working with grantees across the state who are implementing policy, systems, and environmental change strategies to address social determinants of health. Emily studied human services, with a concentration in food systems and public health, at Northeastern University. She also has experience working at Boston Cares and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and participating on the Southcoast Food Policy Council. In her free time, Emily enjoys photography, soccer, hiking & walking, reading, and spending time with her husband and dog Geno.
The Massachusetts Food System Collaborative is supported by the Sudbury Foundation, the Henry P. Kendall Foundation, the Merck Family Fund, the Island Foundation, the Wild Geese Foundation, the John Merck Fund, and the Ajana Foundation. The Collaborative is fiscally sponsored by Third Sector New England, Inc. (TSNE).