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Locally Sourced: An Interview with Sarah Bernstein of Farm Fresh Rhode Island

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Building on our last post about Farm Fresh Rhode Island, we’re interviewing Sarah Bernstein, Program Director for Food System Enterprise. Sarah’s background in education, sustainability, and local foods informs her work with Farm Fresh RI. So let’s start by asking the obvious—why is local sourcing important? There are so many reasons! Because less time has passed from harvest to customer, it’s fresher and it tastes really good. Its vitamins and minerals haven’t been depleted in the same way as something that’s been...


Locally Sourced: Farm Fresh Rhode Island

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The mission of nonprofit food hub Farm Fresh Rhode Island is “To grow a local food system that values the environment, health, and quality of life of farmers and eaters.” The organization was founded in 2004 as part of a student project at Brown University, to increase access to local food in Rhode Island. One of the first outcomes of this project was the Local Food Guide, an extensive online database of local farmers and producers that’s open to...


Locally Sourced: Hearn Kirkwood

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Hearn Kirkwood, a family-run fresh foods distributor in Hanover, MD, has built its reputation of quality food and service over the past 71 years. We had the chance to chat with third-generation CEO Charles Gilbert, who happily noted, “There’s nothing like having a fresh produce company and loving to cook.” What do you do as a supplier? We strive to be good partners with our customers when it comes to their customers and their profitability. We do this by...


Locally Sourced: Arnold Farms

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Arnold Farms is one of several producers that provides SAGE venues with fresh, local produce through wholesale supplier Hearn Kirkwood. Here, Farmer Bob Arnold talks about tough love, trial and error, the supply chain, and his hopes for the future of our food system. How’d you get into farming? 40 years ago, I got thrown out of college for the third time—and it wasn’t for academic excellence. My mother was at her wit’s end, and she said, “Bob, [there are]...


Locally Sourced: Q&A with Devin of Sardilli Produce & Dairy Company

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I was first introduced to Sardilli during a visit to SAGE’s Cheshire Academy in Connecticut, when their white truck pulled out of the mist of a still-dark morning. Later that day, I found myself rinsing the deep green leaves of the crisp, cool Swiss chard that had come in on that same truck. I couldn’t wait to learn about the company that brought such fresh, beautiful produce to our dining halls. The next afternoon, I arrived at the impeccably clean...


Locally Sourced: The Farmer’s Cow

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Many of us remember drinking milk from those little paper cartons at school. The benefits are undeniable: bone-building calcium, muscle-building protein, energy-giving carbohydrates, and satiating fat, all in one delicious package. That’s why milk—both hormone- and antibiotic-free—is a beverage staple at many of our SAGE venues. One of SAGE’s vendors providing this healthy drink is The Farmer’s Cow, a six-farm dairy cooperative in Connecticut that provides milk and other dairy products to six of our schools in CT. Here’s what...


A Commitment to Sustainability

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At SAGE Dining Services®, our commitment to sustainability is visible in our efforts to use safe, local, and organic products whenever possible; to minimize waste; and to educate others about sustainable practices. We create custom menus for each venue to showcase the products and flavors of each community, which often requires local sourcing and local skill. We develop partnerships with local suppliers to increase the use of seasonal products, support sustainable local farming initiatives, and reduce fossil fuel emissions. In...


Locally Sourced: Quality & Service at Sid Wainer & Son

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Executive Vice President Allie Wainer is the fourth generation to help run the family business, Sid Wainer & Son, Inc., a Massachusetts-based SAGE partner and purveyor of specialty foods and produce. The 102-year-old Sid Wainer & Son was founded by Allie’s great-grandfather in 1914 in New Bedford, Massachusetts—where it’s still headquartered today. The company’s mission is to educate its customers and to make their menu development easier by providing top-quality ingredients and inspiring recipes. Like SAGE, Sid Wainer believes that...


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