Lynn Rainville, Food Service Worker FSW
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth/Chartwells Higher Ed
Nominator: Kirby Roberts, Marketing and Catering Director, Chartwells Higher Ed
“We are nominating Lynn Rainville, our onsite food service worker and onsite Freight Farmer as a Foodservice Hero. She is an invaluable member of the UMass Dartmouth Dining Services team. She goes above and beyond the call of her stated duties to serve our customers and the local community and help our fellow workers. Lynn is a Master Gardener and joined our team on December 4th, 2018.
Lynn Rainville farms in our hydroponic Leafy Green Machine. This state-of-the-art, environmental, recycled shipping container is our on-campus Freight Farm. Under Lynn's caring green thumb management, she seeds and harvests over 5,000 heads of lettuce per semester. We are able to use this fresh produce year-round in our residential dining hall, retail locations on campus and catering events.
When COVID-19 hit in March 2020, UMass Dartmouth was on spring break and the university shut down, moving to all virtual learning. Lynn realized that with the students not returning to campus for the spring semester, she'd be left with an abundant harvest. She immediately reached out to Sharing the Harvest, a nonprofit, volunteer-driven community farm that was established as a grassroots response to hunger in the community.
The Result: From March to September 2020 and winter break 2020, UMass Dartmouth Dining Services was able to donate more than 800 heads of lettuce, 30 lbs. of kale and other leafy greens, including Swiss chard, turnips and green star lettuce, to Sharing the Harvest Community Farm at the Dartmouth YMCA. With Lynn's quick thinking, she was able to help alleviate hunger in the New Bedford and Fall River area, both among the 10 most in-need municipalities with some of the highest concentrations of hunger in the state of Massachusetts.
Lynn Rainville, is a Foodservice Hero not just on-campus at UMass Dartmouth but in the surrounding community.”