The Urban School Food Alliance, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Leverage Purchasing Power for Change in School Meals

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

The Urban School Food Alliance (USFA), a nonprofit coalition of the largest school districts in the United States that includes New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami-Dade, Dallas, and Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (the Alliance), founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity, announced a game-changing partnership to improve school meals. Both USFA and the Alliance are committed to helping schools serve children healthy, balanced meals that are low in saturated fat, sugar and sodium and include fresh fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low fat dairy and whole grains. Leveraging combined meal-related budgets totaling over $3 billion from the USFA school districts and the districts that work with the Alliance, this partnership will drive innovative market solutions that are nutritionally wholesome, ecologically sound, economically viable and socially responsible. As a result, 30 million students in over 5,000 school districts will have the opportunity to access high quality food and products at more competitive prices.

USFA’s purchasing power of $550 million has driven systemic and wholesale change to the school food programs in its six member districts. Since its inception in 2012, the USFA has been successful at putting ambitious procurement goals into practice at its six member districts. Just last year, in collaboration with the Natural Resources Defense Council, it drove companies to supply antibiotic-free chicken products to its schools to protect the health of students. It also challenged industry to develop an innovative and affordable environmentally friendly round plate to replace the standard rectangular polystyrene tray school cafeterias use across the country, thereby removing 225 million polystyrene trays from landfills every year from the USFA’s six districts alone.

Comments are closed.