Wholesale Readiness

Rhode Island institutions — including our 44 school districts, 11 hospitals, and 11 colleges and universities — provide an important market for Rhode Island grown, harvested, and manufactured food. In addition to supporting local farm, seafood, and prepared food businesses, institutional food purchases also help increase access to fresh, healthy, local food for all Rhode Islanders. Despite the benefits of local food purchases, and strong interest throughout the supply chain, significant challenges hamper the growth of farm to institution.

Below are resources and inspiration for RI institutional food buyers and sellers.

For Processors & Distributors

Processors play a critical role in the farm to institution supply chain, and are key to increasing local food purchasing. Distributors are an integral link between producers and buyers. Supporting local food systems can grow your business, but there are challenges in doing so. Also see resources for processors.

Success stories

New England Brown University’s students holding watermelons

Brown Market Shares Program

Farm to Institution New England Brown University’s student-led Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program is supporting local farms and helping their communities access fresh and healthy foods.
Hands holding heirloom tomatoes

RISD/JWU New England Food Vision Prize Project and Project Update

Henry P. Kendall Foundation RISD and Johnson & Wales University developed new products from locally sourced ingredients and collaborated with Farm Fresh Rhode Island to package, process, and distribute the products for college dining.
cows in a pasture

Hanging by a Shred: Supporting Regional Dairy Farms Through Increased Shredded Cheese Production

Henry P. Kendall Foundation Brown University, Roger Williams University, and Smith College partnered with RI-based Narragansett Creamery to develop a mozzarella product for the college sector.
College Students

Seafood at Colleges, Schools, and a Hospital (Case studies)

Farm to Institution New England and Massachusetts Farm to School This series of six case studies, produced by, highlights how and why a variety of institutions are serving up local seafood.