Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP)

Every year, public institutions across the United States—from school districts to city governments—spend $150 billion dollars on food with virtually no oversight over, or awareness of, under what conditions these foods were produced. Without accountability tools in place, companies that routinely cut corners along the supply chain continue to receive substantial public contracts at the expense of community health, worker wellbeing, animal welfare, and the environment.

The lack of transparency in the public procurement process and food supply chains denies communities the right to ensure shared community values can help shape how their own taxpayer dollars are spent, which is important for low-income students for whom the majority of their meals come from school. Until institutions and the communities they serve are armed with better information about their supply chains, business as usual will continue.

First adopted by the City of Los Angeles and the LA Unified School District in 2012, the Good Food Purchasing Program provides a metric-based, flexible framework and set of tools that creates greater transparency and accountability in public food procurement and encourages large public institutions to direct their buying power toward five core values:

Local Economies
Support small and mid-sized agricultural and food processing operations within the local area or region
Environmental Sustainability
Source from producers that employ sustainable production systems
Valued Workforce
Provide safe and healthy working conditions and fair compensation for all food chain workers and producers from production to consumption
Nutritional Health
Improving equity, affordability, accessibility, and consumption of high quality culturally relevant Good Food in all communities
Animal Welfare
Provide healthy and humane care for farm animals
Following adoption in Los Angeles, the Center for Good Food Purchasing was created to help respond to interest around the country, providing cities support for evaluation and implementation. In the last two years, the Center has partnered with the HEAL Food Alliance and two other national organizations—the Food Chain Workers Alliance and Real Food Media —to respond to interest in the Program from across the country.

As a national GFPP partner, the HEAL Food Alliance engages in local coalition-building, including exchange of knowledge, skills, and resources among member-led, community-based campaigns. Thanks to all of us working together, and with partners on the ground, the Program has passed in public institutions Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Chicago, Cook County, IL, and in Washington DC! We are actively working with institutions in Austin, the Twin Cities, Madison, Cincinnati and New York City to adopt the program.