LOS ANGELES – The nonprofit Center for Good Food Purchasing has launched its Good Food Impact Hub, a suite of online tools that help large catering institutions like school districts calculate the health, environmental and economic value of food. adoption of more sustainable procurement practices.
The Impact Hub provides users with an easy-to-use interface to quantify and articulate the positive impacts of implementing smarter ways to deliver food to their constituents – from buying organic produce to sourcing locally.
Users can package datasets across five valuable lenses: improved health and nutrition, reduced environmental impacts, stronger local economies, more valued staff, and improved animal welfare. Users can customize the projected benefits and savings for their communities based on the size of their annual purchasing power. Typical users include anyone who can advocate and build public support for better food supply policies and practices, from policy makers and community coalitions to food supply decision makers who oversee food supply chains. food supply for public schools, universities, hospitals, correctional facilities, etc.
“Knowledge is power,” said Paula Daniels, co-founder and head of What’s Next at the Center for Good Food Purchasing. “Our new Impact Hub will provide key insights for policymakers and food service managers who want to embrace a more values-driven sourcing strategy, providing them with the hard data to prove that investing in these changes will produce huge results. dividends on health, the environment and the economy in their communities.
Information from the Impact Hub informed a report recently released by the Rockefeller Foundation in partnership with the Center for Good Food Purchasing. The “True Cost of Food: School Meals Case Study” details the health and poverty reduction benefits of US school lunch programs that adopt more sustainable food purchasing practices:
- Increase purchases from local and regional producers and suppliers to 30% of all food purchases. This would support 19,552 local jobs, equivalent to annual local salaries of $ 971 million. Employment in the localized food system can include jobs such as farm-to-school coordinators, culinary staff for the scratch kitchen, and local food hub operations.
- Reduce conventionally raised grain-fed beef by 30% (such as through a Meatless Monday program). This would translate into a reduction in CO2 equivalent emissions of £ 2.98 billion (equivalent to taking 292,000 passenger vehicles off the road each year).
- Replace conventional products with USDA certified organic products for the 20 most purchased products. This would reduce pesticide use by 567,000 pounds and reduce pesticide use on 47,600 acres of farmland (equivalent to 36,100 football fields).
The Impact Hub allows users to perform similar calculations in their region and provide dollar analysis to administrators. The microsite was designed to serve as a town hall for change agents who want to transform food systems from a profit-driven model to a more community-based values model. Beyond calculators, the Hub offers case studies, practical recommendations, data-driven proof of concept and support resources from the Center.
About sixty large-scale institutions in 24 regions, including the Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, Austin, and Oakland School Districts, have enrolled in the Good Food Purchasing program. Together, these entities represent over $ 1 billion in annual purchasing power and serve over 3 million people each week. The Center works with food service managers and the communities they serve to establish transparency in the farm-to-fork supply chain, helping to set metrics-based goals and measure progress in the five value lenses.
Alexa Delwiche, Co-Founder and Executive Director, said, “The Impact Hub is rich in real impact case studies already underway. The new content includes details of the local purchasing policies of eight cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. The Center calculated the impacts of purchasing changes for these cities. By implementing the Meatless Monday changes across all city agencies, New York City could reduce annual carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 202 million pounds; the equivalent of taking approximately 20,228 passenger vehicles off the road each year.
The Rockefeller Foundation has funded the development and launch of the Good Food Impact Hub as part of its ongoing work to create a fairer and healthier public food system.
About the Impact Hub methodology
The Center developed the impact calculators by collaborating with subject matter experts, performing a comprehensive literature review and creating a detailed analytical model. More information on the methodology and sources can be found here.
About the Food Vouchers Center
The Center for Good Food Purchasing was established in 2015 to guide the nationwide expansion of the Good Food Purchasing Program, an assessment program for large food service providers. It was first implemented in the City of Los Angeles and the Unified School District of Los Angeles starting in 2012. The Center works with national partners, local food policy councils and local coalitions, administrators and elected officials in cities across the country to develop the right food purchasing model.