A Roadmap for Comprehensive Food Service Guidelines

Healthy, Values-Aligned Government Food Purchasing and Food Service

Your toolkit to support advocacy and implementation

An introduction

CSPI’s Vision for Public Food Procurement and Food Service

Our federal, state, and local governments leverage public food purchasing and food service to model healthier food environments, improve diet quality and health, and transform the food system to advance racial equity, climate justice, and food sovereignty. Spending of public food dollars transparently reflects community values, including human health, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, valued workforce, and local economies.

Our vision

Making the case for procurement

The resources in this section provide evidence to demonstrate the feasibility and impact of values-aligned food purchasing and food service policies and practices at the federal, state, and local level. Some of them also provide lessons learned and best practices from implementing existing policies. This section is applicable to advocates as well as policymakers and those advising them.

Policy development and evaluation

The resources in this section provide considerations, content, and language for developing a values-aligned food purchasing and food service policy, devising an implementation strategy for multiple government agencies or institutions, and evaluating the implementation and impact. This section is most applicable for policymakers, government officials, and those advising them.

Report cover image

Good Food Communities

In 2019, advocates launched the Good Food Communities campaign, led by grassroots coalitions from the Bay Area (CA), Buffalo (NY), Chicago, Cincinnati, Gainesville, and New York City with support from Food Chain Workers Alliance and HEAL Food Alliance. Good Food Communities builds on previous successes of Good Food Purchasing Program coalitions, with a focus on addressing ongoing barriers to worker, racial and environmental justice, and transparency in local food procurement policy.

Resources from local campaigns developed by Good Food Communities members are featured below. To complement them, Procuring Food Justice examines how public food procurement in its current form contributes to corporate exploitation, explores the origins of the GFPP, spotlights the key role of grassroots leaders, and draws from a decade of lessons learned to make key recommendations for the road ahead. 

Campaign, coalition, and communications resources

Peter Luri and Jose Andres

Implementation best practices

The resources in this section support implementation of various aspects of values-aligned food purchasing and service (e.g., vendor solicitations, food waste reduction, cost management) at the institutional level. This section is most applicable to government and institutional food procurement and food service practitioners. 

Learn more
Empty prison courtyard with basketball

Setting spotlight

Understanding the Carceral Food System

CSPI maintains that society must ultimately address mass incarceration and other root causes of health inequities. At the same time, improving food conditions in correctional facilities is critical to minimize harm to people impacted by the criminal legal system. With respect to healthy and values-aligned food service, prisons and jails present unique considerations and challenges.

Check out the resources


Thank you to Jessi Silverman, Adrienne Crezo, Marian Manapsal, Zachary Goldstein, Joelle Johnson, Anupama Joshi, Alla Hill, Ashley Hickson, Olivia Pena, and Emily Friedman at CSPI for their contributions to this toolkit. Thank you to Alexa Delwiche, Colleen McKinney, Laura Edwards-Orr, and Sara Elazan at the Center for Good Food Purchasing, Chloë Waterman and Lisa Gonzalez at Friends of the Earth, and Sarah Carden at Farm Action for their thoughtful review and feedback on this toolkit. If you are working on a policy or interested in working on a policy, please contact any of the team members below.