News Release

  6500 East Arapahoe Road, Boulder, CO 80301

For Immediate Release

​Contact: Emily Smith

Good Food Provider

Make Room Celebrity Chefs; School Districts Lead National Change in Good Food Movement

First 5-Star Ranking by Good Food Purchasing Program Awarded to Boulder Valley School District

GoodFoodPurchasing.png(BOULDER, Colo.) – March 1, 2018 – It is not only white table cloth restaurants or celebrity chefs leading the Good Food revolution in this country. According to the national nonprofit measuring values-based procurement practices at food institutions across the country, it is an unlikely new sector leading the change: public school districts. For the first time in its history, the Center for Good Food Purchasing (the Center) has awarded a 5-star ranking with most points ever earned to the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) School Food Project.

Institutional food service facilities supply about $150 billion worth of food each year according to the Union of Concerned Scientists Purchasing Power Report in 2017, and for the past six years, the Center has harnessed the buying power of major public institutions to shift the food system – for the better. Its rigorous Good Food Purchasing Program (the Program) scores food institutions across the nation on a detailed 25-point system with five core values scored in: Local Economies, Environmental Sustainability, Valued Workforce, Animal Welfare and Nutrition. At five points earned – one baseline point in each value category – the Center designates the applicant as an official “Good Food Provider.”

With the addition of two bonus points for Value Chain Equity & Innovation, BVSD earned 27 total points – the highest amount awarded for any entity to date and became the first ever to earn a 5-star ranking with the Center. BVSD achieved this highest recognition through consistently high percentages across all five values, most notably in values where many institutions typically struggle, including Local Economies (41 percent), Environmental Sustainability (26 percent) and Animal Welfare (46 percent).

“This 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.”

Through local food purchasing, BVSD spent $890,700 back into the Colorado economy – over 41 percent of its total food spend, which translates to over 2.19 million meals. Almost 10 percent of these purchases came from small, local farms within 200 miles of the school district. BVSD’s designation as the highest ranking Good Food Provider proves it’s possible for school districts with very limited budgets to not only excel, but lead the way, in building a food system based on the Program’s values without increasing food costs.

"Boulder Valley School District, under Chef Ann Cooper’s leadership, has been blazing trails in the school food world for years", said Alexa Delwiche, executive director of the Center for Good Food Purchasing. “And once again, BVSD is proving exactly what’s possible by investing our public food dollars in a food system that supports good jobs, regional producers, the environment, and high welfare standards for farm animals, while increasing access to healthy food for students."

The Good Food Purchasing Program has been adopted by the Los Angeles Unified School District, City of Los Angeles, San Francisco Unified School District, Oakland Unified School District, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Park District, and the City of Chicago. Together, these institutions spend approximately $400 million annually on food. Local efforts to support the Program's expansion are currently active in: Austin, Boulder, Cincinnati, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York City and Washington D.C. There is mounting interest in at least a dozen more cities across the country, representing nearly $1 billion in institutional food purchasing power and increased access to healthier meals for millions of students.


About Boulder Valley School District
The Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) is a public PK-12 school district located in the extended Denver metropolitan area with 56 pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade schools. Although designated an ‘urban’ district, BVSD occupies a 500-square-mile region along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains that includes nine major urban, suburban and rural communities.  Total enrollment as of January 1, 2018, was just over 31,000.  The District’s students are demographically diverse: 30% minority, 19% low-income, 10% English Language Learners, and 11% with disabilities. For more about BVSD, please visit

About Boulder Valley School District’s School Food Project
At the BVSD School Food Project, we believe that for kids to learn, think and be the best they can be, they have to eat well. Because of this, we are dedicated to improving the health of each student by providing healthy food and offering nutrition education programs to grow young bodies and minds. We serve fresh and nutritious food every day. This amounts to nearly 13,000 scratch-cooked meals each day! We use locally sourced and organic ingredients whenever possible, and we avoid highly processed foods, high fructose corn syrup, chemicals, dyes and food additives. Salad bars are offered daily at every school and are stocked with fresh, delicious and when possible, local farm fresh produce. In addition to feeding students healthy meals, SFP emphasizes lunchroom education programs to increase students’ food literacy and help them make informed decisions about the types and amounts of food they put in their bodies. Learn more at

About the Center for Good Food Purchasing
The Center for Good Food Purchasing’s Good Food Purchasing Program transforms the way public institutions purchase food by increasing transparency and equity in the food system based on five core values: local economies, health, valued workforce, animal welfare, and environmental sustainability. Through the Program, the Center works with institutions to establish supply chain transparency from farm to fork, evaluate how current purchasing practices align with the Good Food Purchasing Standards, set goals, measure progress, and celebrate successes in using institutional purchasing power to improve the food system. Learn more at

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