Inequity is pervasive in Buffalo’s food system. Many communities have been redlined by supermarkets for decades, which has made access to fresh, healthy food difficult at best. As a result, rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are extremely high within these communities. One particularly vulnerable population are students, many of whom rely on school food for much of their daily nutritional intake. As school food quality is directly linked with academic performance, it is critical that school food meet the nutritional needs of students. The Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) recognizes that institutional purchasing practices can serve as a method for addressing these issues and inequities. Using the procurement power of large institutions to reform the food system, the GFPP emphasizes five values: nutrition, local economies, valued workforce, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare.
The Buffalo Public School District (BPS) Board of Education (BOE) should pass a resolution by the end of the 2018-2019 school year to begin the initial stages of GFPP implementation at BPS. This will specifically include a commitment to participating in a baseline assessment of the BPS school food chain.
The BPS BOE should adopt the GFPP as official policy by December 2019 in order to increase procurement supporting the five GFPP values (nutrition, local economies, valued workforce, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare).
The GFPP policy adoption process should be a collaborative effort between the BPS BOE, students, parents, representatives from all five of the GFPP values, and the Good Food Buffalo Coalition, which will 1) ensure that the needs of the students and community are met and 2) recognize the expertise that these groups possess and can contribute;
The GFPP policy should place emphasis on supporting and promoting minority-owned or –controlled businesses in the food industry;
In adopting the GFPP as policy, the BPS BOE should commit to the steps for GFPP implementation as outlined by the Center for Good Food Purchasing.