The City of Chicago took a huge step forward in making our food system more sustainable, just and humane when the City Council voted unanimously on October 11 to adopt the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP). The vote follows the example of Chicago’s Public School Board and Park District, both of which adopted the GFPP earlier this year.
The GFPP helps cities, school systems, and other municipalities or institutions ensure that a portion of their food budgets go to producers that meet standards reflective of five key value categories: animal welfare, nutrition, support for local economies, worker justice and safety, and environmental sustainability. The animal welfare category addresses the conditions in which farm animals are raised for food, relying largely on third-party welfare certification programs. As large-scale buyers of animal products, municipalities and other large institutions affect the lives of millions of farm animals and a shift in policy can drive wide-reaching improvements in their treatment.
Chicago joins six other institutions with GFPP commitments to date, representing hundreds of millions of meals served each year. The ASPCA supported the Chicago effort and is actively involved in helping other cities across the country take this step to advance animal welfare and food sustainability.
Institutions that have adopted GFPP already are finding that not only can they improve the lives of animals in the food system, but they can actually save money doing it! In California, the Oakland Unified School District reported economic savings and a smaller carbon and water footprint as a result of the GFPP.
We want to thank our ASPCA members in Chicago for playing a key role in this victory by jumping to action and voicing their support for GFPP.
You can learn more about the many GFPP campaigns that are underway in communities around the country, from Texas to New York, here. Be sure to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to be alerted when a GFPP campaign comes to your city and receive updates on how you can help.