Advancing the Good Food Purchasing Program in New York State
Healthy Food, Healthy Lives
December 12, 2023
Through agencies and institutions, New York State municipalities annually purchase and serve hundreds of millions of meals to individuals with incomes below the federal poverty level and at a higher risk of food insecurity.
Given their massive scale, public institutions can leverage their purchasing power to procure foods of higher nutritional value. The Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) builds upon the purchasing power of institutions to improve food quality, lower costs, and support local agriculture. Adopting GFPP can encourage better food purchasing practices that align with nutrition, local economies, environmental sustainability, valued workforce, and animal welfare. GFPP also creates opportunities for small farms and suppliers who traditionally have had less capacity to compete for institutional contracts. Cities like New York City and Buffalo are already implementing GFPP. Yet, broader statewide adoption is currently limited by State procurement policy, which requires municipalities to select the lowest-cost bidder, often neglecting factors like nutritional quality. In 2023, NYHealth awarded the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) a grant to strengthen the campaign for statewide adoption of the Good Food Purchasing Program.
Under this grant, NRDC will partner with Community Food Advocates and GFPP coalition partners to educate stakeholders on policy changes that would enable municipalities to choose food that might be higher priced but contains more nutritional value. NRDC will also provide legal support on State procurement policy to build upon the coalition’s knowledge of legal obstacles municipalities face when purchasing food. NRDC will educate policymakers, coalition members, and industry actors on the actual legal and on-the-ground impact of New York State adopting GFPP, including benefits for producers and suppliers.