Government food purchasing and service: Case studies and evaluations

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Case studies and evaluations at federal, state, and local levels for government food purchasing and food service policymakers, advocates, organizations, and individuals.

Federal Case Studies and Evaluations

  • Values-Aligned Food Purchasing and Service: Promising Examples from US Federal Agencies and Programs (2023) | Full Report | Executive Summary | Federal Good Food Purchasing Coalition: This report describes several promising examples of federal agencies, as well as one commodity food program, that are working to align their food service operations or purchasing programs with their values. These examples demonstrate what is possible through federal food procurement and underscore the need for policies that make these practices the norm.  
  • Climate-Friendly Food Service: A Case Study of Plant-Forward Menus at the Veterans Health Administration and Select Federal Agencies (2023) | Federal Good Food Purchasing Coalition: This case study describes one effort to integrate more climate-friendly, plant-based recipes into menus at Veterans Health Administration medical centers. It also includes an overview of how other federal agencies offer plant-forward menus or plant-based options in their food service operations. These promising examples provide a foundation for scaling up climate-friendly food service across the federal government to have an even greater impact.
  • The HHS Hubert H. Humphrey Building Cafeteria Experience: Incorporation of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 into Federal Food Service Guidelines (2012) | NORC at the University of Chicago: This case study describes the process followed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. General Services Administration to develop the Health and Sustainability Guidelines for Federal Concessions and Vending Operations (the original precursor to the Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities) and translate them into a request for proposals for the HHS Hubert H. Humphrey Building cafeteria in Washington, DC. It also identifies lessons learned implementing the Guidelines in the Humphrey building and other federal buildings in DC.
  • Promoting Sustainability in Food Service: A Qualitative Exploration of Barriers, Facilitators, and Best Practices in Veterans Affairs Hospitals (2023) | NOPREN Food Service Guidelines Work Group: This resource summarizes the methods and results of a study that explored the barriers, facilitators, and best practices for sustainable food service strategies among food service personnel in Veterans Affairs hospitals.
  • Food for the Parks: Case Studies (n.d.) | Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, National Park Service: This report describes efforts to implement values-aligned food procurement and service practices in National Park concessions. The report highlights four concessions, which represent varied geographics and types of parks, contract sizes, and site-specific challenges. It provides information about existing programs and platforms for scaling them to new park units. 

State, Local, and Institutional Case Studies and Evaluations