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 Interim Executive Director of the Collaborative is J. Harrison.
J. Harrison is the Interim Director at the Collaborative. Prior to taking on this interim roll, J. was a steering committee member of the Collaborative for several years, serving during a time of early growth and success. He is the former Executive Director and a long-time staff member of The Food Project. For the past three years, J. has worked as an organizational consultant, primarily helping non-profits from across MA with strategic planning and organizational transitions.
The Program Manager is Rebecca Miller
Rebecca has been working at the Massachusetts Food System Collaborative since 2018 as a Program Manager. At the Collaborative, she manages the Campaign for Healthy Incentives Program Funding, co-facilitates the Mass. urban agriculture network, leads advocacy trainings for community-based food system organizations and coalitions, and engages in additional policy work. 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 and previously worked for Mass. Farmers Markets.
The 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 Director of the Lynn Food and Fitness Alliance (LFFA) in Lynn, MA, where he manages and facilitates community partnerships to address food insecurity and improve other public health intersections.
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).