Sustainable Food System

In 2015/16, through local food purchasing, BVSD spent $890,700 back into Colorado’s economy – over 41 percent of its total food spend, translating to over 2.19 million meals. Almost 10 percent of these purchases came from small, local farms within 200 miles of BVSD.

​With our longstanding commitment to serving nutritious food, we use locally sourced and organic ingredients whenever possible, and we avoid highly processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, chemicals, dyes and food additives. We work closely with ten local farmer partners and dozens of other local and regional food producers and vendors to procure high quality, sustainably raised ingredients. As such, it is of great interest to continue leading the healthy, local food procurement movement within our community and strengthen our local food purchasing capacity through the Center for Good Food Purchasing’s Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP).

GFPP is a comprehensive, metric-based set of food procurement standards, providing leverage for us to work with our producers and vendors to provide still healthier food with a focus on stimulating the local food economy and establishing model practices within our community. In December 2017, BVSD became the first entity of any kind in the country to achieve the highest possible level of recognition with five stars and points in every value category.

Following the assessment, with the support of the Center for Good Food Purchasing, BVSD School Food Project has developed short- and long-term purchasing goals, future benchmarks, and institutional standards to be included in new RFPs and contracts with food vendors. School districts across the country have adopted the program, recognizing their duty as community leaders to establish sustainable, healthy food procurement practices. 

School districts as well as other organizations including cities, local coalitions, and nonprofits have made significant advances toward a more sustainable, fair and humane food economy. For example, healthier food products with reformulated recipes; additional sustainable, locally-produced food products; millions of dollars re-directed to purchase local produce and support the local food economy; hundreds of new well-paying food-related jobs; higher wages and improved working conditions; decreases in energy and money spent on meat production, including an estimated savings of millions of gallons of water per week; and support of more humane, healthy and sustainable ranching practices.

By taking the initiative to implement such a program, BVSD Food Services not only builds capacity within our own organization, but also calls upon other community organizations to achieve the same level of high-quality food procurement and demand accountability in food and environmental safety from producers and vendors.

(Image Source: greatmealsforachange.ca)

Click here to read the March 1st news release.

​“This [GFPP] award is to be shared with all school food and nutrition professionals. It is proof positive that a
school district can actually influence a local or regional food economy,” said Chef Ann Cooper, Director
of Food Services at BVSD. “I want our record high score to catalyze school districts everywhere to now
believe they can be at the vanguard of not just school food improvement, but overall societal change.”