The Buffalo Public School (BPS) district spends $13.5 million dollars each year to serve roughly 53,000 meals per day.
The Good Food Buffalo coalition is urging local institutions, such as the Buffalo school district, to bring the Good Food Purchasing Program to our region because children and all people deserve access to healthy food, and food that values workers, animals, and the environment, while lifting local communities out of poverty.
The Good Food Buffalo coalition grew out of three local efforts:
1) A partnership between community members and the Buffalo Public Schools Farm to School Initiative, which sought to bring more local, nutritious food into Buffalo schools and engage students interested in improving school food.
2) The Crossroads Collective’s efforts to build a just transition to a new economy in Buffalo. Learn more here.
3) Events organized by the Peoples Food Movement,which sought to engage communities in Buffalo and Erie County in guiding food policy for the region. Learn more here.
IN 2017 :
- In April, community partners engaged in the BPS Farm to School initiative and members of the Crossroads Collective food justice efforts coalesced at the People’s Food Movement to advocate bringing the Good Food Purchasing Program to Buffalo.
- Following that event, several community partners and national partners from the Food Chain Workers Alliance hosted a webinar on the Good Food Purchasing Program to help local groups gain a better understanding of the Program.
- Later that year, youth at Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) in Buffalo worked on creating podcasts highlighting their interest in the Good Food Purchasing Program. Those podcasts can be heard here.
- The Good Food Buffalo coalition was launched by Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) in April of 2018 and now has over 18 local and 15 national groups that are part of the coalition (see below).
- Partnership for the Public Good (PPG) published a report on the state of school food in Buffalo. A shorter policy brief was also released later that year.
- Shortly after the Good Food Buffalo coalition launched, local groups learned that the Chicago Food Policy Action Council had an epic win in the adoption of Good Food Purchasing Program policy county-wide. Several Good Food Buffalo coalition partners visited Chicago to learn from their successes. We engaged in a thought partnership with the Chicago coalition to learn from their challenges and developments.
- In December 2018, the 284 groups that are members of the Partnership for the Public Good elected to include a campaign to urge Buffalo Public Schools to adopt the Good Food Purchasing Program as one of its ten advocacy planks for their 2019 community agenda.
- Racial equity is a primary concern for the founding members of the Good Food Buffalo coalition. In 2019, the Good Food Buffalo coalition invited Twin Cities Good Food Purchasing Program Coordinator, Zoe Hollomon, to come to Buffalo to lead a training on their racial equity framework and help Buffalo’s coalition members come up with priorities to guide our work (see photos from that event above).
LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED
- Massachusetts Avenue Project
- African Heritage Food Co-op
- Buffalo Parent-Teacher Organization
- Buffalo Teacher Federation
- Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo
- Crossroads Collective
- Fruit Belt Advisory Council
- Grassroots Gardens WNY
- Massachusetts Avenue Project
- Northeast Organic Farming Association of NY
- Open Buffalo
- Partnership for the Public Good
- Sierra Club Buffalo-Niagara
- SunniBlu Health and Wellness
- SPCA of Erie County
- UB Food Lab
- Ujima Company, Inc.
- WNY Area Labor Federation
- WNY Council on Occupational Safety & Health