City and County of San Francisco Pass Good Food Purchasing Ordinance


Katie Ettman, SPUR

San Francisco, Calif. (August 21, 2020) — The City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a landmark ordinance this month to introduce standards and goals for food purchasing by the Department of Public Health and Sheriff’s Department in hospitals and jails.

The ordinance—introduced by Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer and approved on August 11, 2020—outlines steps for improving food purchasing over the next five years based on the Standards of the Good Food Purchasing Program. The goal is for San Francisco hospitals and jails to become certified Good Food Providers by 2023, as designated by the Center for Good Food Purchasing.

The Good Food Purchasing Program was established in 2012 to shift institutional food purchases across the country in alignment with five core values: environmental sustainability, valued workforce, strong local economies, nutrition and health, and animal welfare. First adopted in Los Angeles, the Program is now active in 45 institutions across the country, from the San Francisco Bay Area to Chicago to Washington DC.

The City and County of San Francisco spend nearly $7.5 million on food through agencies such as the Department of Public Health (hospitals) and the Sheriff’s Department (jails). This move to align food purchasing practices with the Good Food Purchasing Standards is a significant step toward a more just and sustainable food system.

SPUR and a broad coalition of community partners have supported implementing the Good Food Purchasing Policy since 2016. The City and County’s move follows the adoption of the Good Food Purchasing Program by San Francisco Unified School District in 2016.

Katie Ettman of SPUR commented, “Public procurement can and should support all residents. For example, using public procurement to support California agriculture has economic benefits to the state far beyond the farms growing the fruits and vegetables served. It is also a powerful strategy to support environmentally friendly agricultural practices that improve water-use efficiency, carbon sequestration, and resilience during droughts—environmental impacts that affect all Californians. Public agencies can also encourage healthier diets by expanding the options it offers when it serves food directly to people in its hospitals and jails.”


To learn more about the Good Food Purchasing Program in San Francisco, visit:

For more data about San Francisco food procurement, see: