Good Food Purchasing Program
Cook County’s Good Food Purchasing Initiative
Cook County established the Good Food Purchasing Initiative (GFPI) after becoming the third local government in the U.S. to approve a resolution promoting the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) in May 2018. The 2018 Food Summit focused on how to make good food widely available and affordable, and shared a new vision for food system transformation. Participants learned about investments and policy opportunities that advance equitable, healthy, and sustainable local and regional food systems. Participants engaged in facilitated discussions. to cultivate a vision for change and provide an opportunity to find out how participants want to continue to be engaged.
GFPI aims to ensure that institutional food purchasing advances an equitable, healthy, fair, local, humane, and sustainable food system. GFPI works to create access to good food for all by: (1) Implementing GFPP in County departments and agencies, (2) advancing a racially and socially equitable food system that can meet the demands of GFPP, and (3) building a culture where good food is a right, not a privilege.
Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) coordinates Cook County’s GFPI, working closely with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Chicago Food Policy Action Council (CFPAC). CCDPH, CDPH, and CFPAC plan to evaluate GFPI’s impact on the local food system in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of academic researchers from the Midwest Consortium on Equity, Research, and Food.
Good Food Purchasing Program Harnesses the Power of Procurement
Good Food Purchasing Program, a nationally known program provides a metric-based framework for food procurement that supports institutional food buyers to make informed decisions and measure impact in five value categories: Local Economies, Environmental Sustainability, Valued Workforce, Animal Welfare, and Nutrition.
CCDPH partners with CFPAC to collect data and information from County departments/agencies to understand current food purchasing practices. The data and information are shared with the Center for Good Food Purchasing (CGFP) for analysis and a baseline assessment is conducted. Following this assessment, CCDPH and CFPAC will support each department/agency to develop a multi-year plan and take action to move towards transforming our local food system to be more equitable, healthy, and sustainable. CCDPH and CFPAC also work with County departments/agencies to explore opportunities to incorporate GFPP standards into their respective solicitation bids, Request for Proposals (RFPs), new food service management contracts, and leases. Over time, Cook County food vendors will work to meet high Good Food Standards in each category—leading to a healthier Cook County where every resident has an opportunity to thrive.
To learn more about Cook County’s progress with implementing GFPP, please review the 2019 GFPP Annual Report and 2020 & 2021 GFPP Annual Report and Issue Brief. You can also watch a recording of the 2021 Cook County Annual GFPP Update public meeting that CCDPH and CFPAC hosted during Cook County’s 3rd annual Racial Equity Week on September 17, 2021.
Good Food Task Force
CCDPH convenes a Good Food Task Force responsible for overseeing implementation of GFPI. The Task Force meets quarterly to discuss challenges, share solutions, celebrate successes, and identify collective opportunities to advance GFPP. The Task Force includes County department and agency leaders and key food system stakeholders: Chicago Botanic Garden, Chicago Department of Public Health, Chicago Food Policy Action Council, Chicago Zoological Society, HEAL Food Alliance, IFF, Illinois Public Health Institute/ Alliance for Health Equity, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Opportunity Knocks, Proviso Partners for Health, South Metropolitan High Education Consortium, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association, U of I Extension, Urban Growers Collective, USDA, and West 40 ISC.
Cook County Department of Public Health Food Summit
Cook County Department of Public Health hosts an annual Food Summit every fall. The public and partners are invited to learn more about the relationship between food and health, and efforts in Cook County to improve access for all to nutritious foods where we live, work, study, play and worship. To experience previous summits, including program books with agendas and speaker bios, videos of speaker presentations, photos, and more, visit the Cook County Department of Public Health Food Summit page.