A Framework for Good Food Purchasing – New York City, USA

Key Insights

  • Equal access to quality food can be achieved through the development of the Good Food Purchasing Programme
  • Public procurement can be used as an accelerator to create an effective food system, especially in urban environments
  • Tracking food purchases and monitoring performance can create a more transparent food system


New York City released a strategy in 2017 for its Good Food Purchasing Programme (GFPP) to tackle unequal access to high-quality food. The programme aims to improve the quality of food that the City provides to the most vulnerable groups in city-run institutions. The GFPP is a framework aiming for food systems change by guiding the purchases of public institutions towards healthy nutrition, local economies, environmental sustainability, a valued workforce, and animal welfare. Through regulations, vendors must report the sources of food and the City of New York is committed to publishing this data every year. The programme is important as institutional food purchases can significantly affect change and are a vital instrument for promoting equity. Mayor Eric Adams formalised the City’s commitment to the Good Food Purchasing Programme by signing Executive Order 8 in February 2022.


Food Action Cities. (2023, October 10) . A Framework for Good Food Purchasing – New York City, USA,  Food Action Cities. https://foodactioncities.org/case-studies/a-framework-for-good-food-purchasing–new-york-city-usa

The city of New York City, New York USA  is part of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. 



Photo by Sally through https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/
Photo by Sally through Creative Commons Licenses 2.0

The action and its aims

New York City, through the GFPP aims to create equal access to quality food, particularly targeting the most vulnerable populations, including school children, elderly, people in homeless shelters, or people in prisons. The end goal of this project is to improve the food the city serves to these populations. It defines quality food as minimally processed foods such as vegetables, fruits and wholegrain. It also means reducing salt, sugars and saturated fats in processed food, reducing red meat and eliminating artificial additives. The food should be locally purchased, from small or minority and women-owned businesses. To reach this goal New York City set up a procurement strategy (GFPP) to track and guide food purchases made by vendors and institutions.  

When it was introduced

The Good Food Purchasing campaign was introduced in 2016 to improve equity, affordability, and accessibility, while keeping in mind the wellbeing of animals and environment. The campaign consisted of three phases: research, adaptation, and implementation. In 2022, the City of New York formalised the Good Food Purchasing Programme. 

Why it was needed

Each year, New York City spends around  US$200 million on feeding the most vulnerable in city-run organisations and institutions. But the food system is fragmented, complicated and not clear, leading to unequal access to affordable and healthy food. To create a more transparent and just system, the Good Food Purchasing Programme was created. 

Who initiated it, who is involved

In 2016, The Food Chain Workers Alliance, Community Food Advocates, the City University of New York (CUNY) Urban Food Policy Institute, and the Centre for Good Food Purchasing established the NYC Good Food Purchasing Campaign. These organisations have been working together to create a coalition of local and national food system specialists who represent the five programme value areas of local economies, valued workforce, nutrition, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare. 
The eventual framework was developed by The Centre for Good Food Purchasing, who is partnered with The City of New York.

Impacts to date

Mayor Eric Adams formalised the City’s commitment to the Good Food Purchasing Program by signing Executive order 8 in February 2022. This order requires all vendors to report to the City on the origins of the food and meals they supply to the City. The New York City Framework for Good Food Purchasing won the Milan Pact Award 2022 under the category of governance.The Good Food Purchasing Programme is linked to the 10-year Food Policy Strategy, FoodForward NYC.

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