The Healthy Students Amendment Act of 2018, which will enable D.C. to implement the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP), has been passed by the Council of the District of Columbia on Tuesday.
A creation of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council and the Center for Good Food Purchasing, the program focuses on welfare of animals, and prioritizes sustainability and local economies.
Many cities and school districts across the country have adopted the program which started in Los Angeles in 2012. Under this program, healthier meals will be given to thousands of students in D.C. and at the same time better living conditions will be ensured for farm animals.
District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) will be completing a baseline evaluation of its food purchases by the year end before rolling out the GFPP. It will help guiding D.C.’s vision for the next year.
Environmental sustainability, support of local economies, nutrition, valued workforce and improvement of animal welfare are the five core values of the GFPP.
“Currently in the United States, the vast majority of farm animals are raised in industrialized, unsanitary warehouses, where they are packed in so densely they can barely move,” said Alicia Prygoski, farm animal policy associate at the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), which is a D.C. based nonprofit organization.
“The GFPP works to transition food procurement systems away from this inhumane status quo toward farming methods where the animals are able to roam, forage and socialize, which is clearly better for their welfare.”
Prygoski would like to see the positive impact of the GFPP in D.C., and also work with the Center for Good Food Purchasing and coalition partners to extend the program to other cities.
In November, 2017, AWI, along with 40 other individuals and organizations, testified in favor of the Healthy Students Amendment Act before the D.C. City Council.
With enrollment of over 48,000 students, DCPS has become the fifth school district in the county that has decided to adopt the GFPP. Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco and Chicago have already accepted the program.
New York City, Denver and Austin school districts and municipalities are also planning to adopt the GFPP.