Escondido School District Commits to Good Food Purchasing Program

Hoa Quach

The Escondido Union School District Board of Education recently voted to commit to the Good Food Purchasing Program, according to a press release.

The Good Food Purchasing Program, locally spearheaded by the San Diego Food System Alliance, encourages school districts to purchase food that meets robust labor, health, animal welfare and sustainability standards, while prioritizing local food sources.

“As the first institution in San Diego County to adopt the nationally recognized GFPP framework, Escondido Union School District (EUSD) reaffirmed itself as a leader in school food. With more than 3 million meals served annually, EUSD is poised to have a significant impact on students, food vendors, and growers across the region,” the press release said.

“We are part of the solution – through adversity and hardship come real solutions,” said Gail Gousha, EUSD Nutrition Services Director. “The difficult COVID-19 environment has increased the need for feeding and conservation solutions that we had not even considered before. Keeping a strong focus on our community partnerships, environment and conservation should never wane. Our commitment to GFPP values-based procurement includes this strong philosophy and methodology. We will continue to highly value these relationships and resources that allow us to keep moving forward.”

The diverse coalition of partners in San Diego behind promoting GFPP, facilitated by San Diego Food System Alliance, include the American Heart Association, ASPCA, Community Health Improvement Partners, County of San Diego Childhood Obesity Initiative, Farm Forward, Friends of the Earth, Humane Society of the United States, Project New Village, San Diego 350, Teamsters, UCSD Center for Community Health and the Union of Concerned Scientists. The local coalition is supported by the Center for Good Food Purchasing, a national organization managing the GFPP framework.

“We are so excited to partner with EUSD as the first GFPP participant in San Diego County,” said Elly Brown, Executive Director of the San Diego Food System Alliance. “EUSD has joined a growing network of innovative communities and institutional leaders from across the country who are strategically building a healthy, just and sustainable food system. We want to thank Gail, Brock, and the Nutrition Services team for their passion and dedication, our coalition partners, and Kaiser Permanente San Diego for supporting the assessment work with EUSD.”

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