Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Project Title

Advancing Good Food Purchasing in Buffalo Public Schools, Phase 2

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Date Awarded

March 12, 2024



Western NY


In Progress


Food systems planning is a collaborative process among farmers, retailers, consumers, nonprofits, health systems, and government to develop priorities and implement policies that shape how local or regional food systems operate.

Benefits of food planning include improving food procurement at public institutions, supporting local retail food businesses, and strengthening outreach and enrollment in benefits programs. NYHealth is supporting eight food planning groups in New York State that are developing tailored food system plans. Buffalo’s food planning group, the Good Food Buffalo Coalition, has chosen the adoption of the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFFP) as its priority. GFPP guides public institutions to make purchases that align with values including increased nutritional quality. GFPP also creates opportunities for small farms and suppliers who traditionally have had less capacity to compete for institutional contracts. In 2022, NYHealth awarded the Good Food Buffalo Coalition a grant to assess the readiness of local farmers for GFPP, publish a resource directory for farmers of color, and work with community members to develop a GFPP racial justice action plan. The Coalition also partnered with Buffalo Public Schools to complete a GFPP baseline assessment to understand how schools performed. With the support of the Good Food Buffalo Coalition, Buffalo Public Schools is now poised to implement GFPP. In 2024, NYHealth awarded the Good Food Buffalo Coalition a grant to implement a local food system plan to harness the collective purchasing power of schools to improve meal quality, lower costs, and support local agriculture.

Under this grant, the Good Food Buffalo Coalition will help secure Buffalo Public Schools’ implementation of GFPP. With the baseline assessment complete, it will work with district decision-makers to identify key opportunities to shift purchasing in line with GFPP. The Coalition will also partner with Buffalo Public Schools’ Office of Nutrition Services to maximize the potential of the district’s new centralized kitchen to prepare scratch-cooked, fresh meals for the district’s 30,000 students.. The Good Food Buffalo Coalition will also continue to strengthen its membership and to educate local and State policymakers about GFPP.