Since 2016, the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability has led a collaborative effort bringing together a cross-sector coalition of anchor institutions, community-based organizations, academia, philanthropy, and the business community to invest in leveraging the Good Food Purchasing Program as a tool to catalyze transformational food systems change by supporting Austin institutions to participate. In May 2016, the coalition launched an effort to implement the Program, with pilot partners at the Austin Independent School District, the Austin Convention Center, and the University of Texas at Austin leading the way as the first organizations to pilot the Good Food Purchasing Program in Texas.
In February 2019, Austin Independent School District became the first school district in the state to officially adopt the Good Food Purchasing Program. In July 2021, Lake Travis Independent School District became the second. Unified around a shared vision and set of values, Austin-based institutions involved with the Program have made important gains, but supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic and Winter Storm Uri have reinforced how much work is left to be done.
Launched in Fall 2022, a multi-partner advocacy campaign led by Sustainable Food Center is advocating for the City of Austin and Travis County to adopt a Good Food Purchasing Policy, which would ensure transparent supply chains and continual improvement for institutional buyers. Good Food Purchasing aligns with the region’s long-standing dedication to climate equity and resilient food systems. Austin-Travis County can establish itself as a regional leader around values-based procurement and transform the food system to become more resilient and better serve the needs of our people and our communities.
In order to make lasting change, investment is needed. The campaign is advocating for the adoption of the Austin-Travis County Food Policy Board recommendation Supporting Values-Based Procurement and requesting a $3 million investment to support anchor institutions committed to equitable and transparent purchasing.
To learn more, or to get involved with the campaign email firstname.lastname@example.org.