New York Good Food Purchasing Program Campaign
Healthy Food, Healthy Lives
September 18, 2020
COVID-19 has exposed gaps in our food system and supply chain, such as shortages of staple goods at supermarkets and decreases in the nutritional content of institutional food.
New York City has historically relied solely on centralized mega-producers for food purchasing, a practice that has left out small farms and Black farmers. The Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) transforms the way public institutions purchase food by encouraging large institutions to direct their buying power based on five core pillars: nutrition, local economies, environmental sustainability, valued workforce, and animal welfare. New York City is preparing to adopt GFPP—creating pathways for small-scale food suppliers and farmers of color to compete in the City’s institutional marketplaces and diversify its food system. In 2020, NYHealth awarded Community Food Advocates (CFA) a grant to support the implementation of GFPP in New York City, as well as lay the groundwork for expanding it throughout New York State.
Under this grant, CFA furthered the adoption of GFPP and helped remove barriers for Black farmers and small farms to participate in New York’s food system. CFA hosted listening sessions with Black farmers to voice their experiences. Based on their input, CFA developed an action agenda to reduce the challenges that farmers of color face in competing for institutional contracts. It offered farmers technical assistance on how to build their infrastructure to reach larger markets and secure contracts; apply for capacity building or planning grants; and connect to new regional markets. CFA also educated policymakers about how New York could supply healthier food and give upstate farmers access to more markets. CFA developed an advocacy plan and shared recommendations to guide the City and State in how they can meaningfully adopt GFPP to support a more just, transparent, and equitable food system.