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400 Miles or Less: The Case for Local Food Procurement Policies in U.S. Schools

Saal-Ridpath, Kaitlyn (2020) 400 Miles or Less: The Case for Local Food Procurement Policies in U.S. Schools. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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In the United States, the growing prevalence of overweight and obese children is of public health importance. Since the early 1980s, prevalence has more than tripled and presently, approximately 1 in 5 children are living with obesity. Because nearly half of all calories consumed by children occur during the school day, policy interventions on the school level present a significant opportunity for impact. A primary factor with regard to obesity is diet, and consuming healthier, fresher foods positively impact child health. This essay recommends adopting a local food procurement policy as part of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
A general search for local food procurement policies in the Growing Good Food Connections Policy database was conducted, as well as a review of jurisdictions that have adopted the Good Food Purchasing Program (GFPP) model standards to form a representative sample. The GFPP model is based on five values – local economies, nutrition, valued workforce, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare – and promotes procuring local, fresh foods. In summary, schools that have adopted a local food procurement policy find students choose healthy, fresh food options while in school and consume, on average, more fruits and vegetables. A brief review of Brazil as a global leader in school feeding programs and its utilization of local food further supports adopting a local food procurement policy and can be used to inform the U.S. as it builds a coalition in support of a national food policy and local food procurement policy.
This essay concludes with three recommendations. First, the U.S. must develop a national food policy so all food, agriculture, and nutrition laws, policies, and regulations can be integrated and coordinated across all departments and agencies in the government. Second, a standard or uniform procurement policy based on existing programs and models must be established. Finally, the U.S. must adopt a local food procurement policy for the NSLP through the legislative process. Adopting a local food procurement policy will promote healthy eating behaviors in schools and positively impact child health by decreasing the prevalence of overweight and obese children in the U.S.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Saal-Ridpath, Kaitlynk.saalridpath@pitt.edukgs28
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairVan Nostrand, Elizabethevannostrand@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberCrossley, Marycrossley@pitt.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date: 13 April 2020
Date Type: Submission
Number of Pages: 40
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Health Policy & Management
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2020 19:43
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2020 19:43


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