Supervisor Hahn Wants to Make LA County the Nation’s Largest Good Food Purchaser

Los Angeles, CA– Supervisor Janice Hahn wants to make Los Angeles County the largest county in the nation to adopt the Good Food Purchasing Policy — thereby lending the County’s enormous purchasing power to support a local, sustainable, healthy, and humane food system. Today, the Board of Supervisors voted to support a plan authored by Supervisor Hahn and co-authored by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas to examine the feasibility of implementing a Good Food Purchasing Policy for all County departments and implementing a pilot program with at least one County department.

“Our budgets reflect our values and we should use LA County’s massive purchasing power to support a principled food system that gives back to our local economy” said Supervisor Hahn. “This is about more than just food– this is about using food as a tool to invest in good local jobs, environmental sustainability, and the health of our children.”

The Good Food Purchasing Policy is a commitment by a food serving institution to improve the regional food system by implementing meaningful purchasing standards in five “key value” categories: (1) local economies, (2) environmental sustainability, (3) valued workforce, (4) animal welfare, and (5) nutrition.

“Expanding healthy food options within our County facilities is about putting into practice what we preach,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, co-author of the motion. “Our County should be a model for how workplaces can lead the charge in promoting a more healthy society.”

The County purchases 37 million snacks and meals a year for youth lunch programs, senior meal services, food at our LA County jails, as well as for staff cafeterias. By implementing a Good Food Purchasing Policy, LA County could drastically influence the local food system as a whole by supporting food sources that are healthy, locally grown, and sustainable.

“All communities deserve access to good food, grown with respect for people and the planet. The Good Food Purchasing Policy puts government food dollars to work by investing in healthy, local food options produced in a fair and sustainable way. This policy creates new market opportunities across our region while fighting hunger and unequal access to healthy food that we see in underserved communities,” said Clare Fox, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council.

“Public Health continues to view GFPP as an innovative strategy to encourage and leverage institutions’ purchasing power to procure local, sustainable, nutritious, fair and humanely produced foods, while investing in the regional food system,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “We support the broad framework of GFPP as a goal of the County, and a feasibility assessment on the readiness of County departments is a critical initial step.”