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USFA Member Aaron Smith, School Nutrition Director in Seattle Public Schools wins K-12 segment Silver Plate Award from IFMA. Aaron also serves on the USFA Board of Directors. Congratulations Aaron!

The Urban School Food Alliance and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Leverage $3 Billion in Purchasing Power for Market-Driven Change in School Meals

Filed Under: Partnerships

As a result of this partnership, 30 million students in over 5,000 school districts will have opportunity to access to high quality food and products at a more competitive price.

(NEW YORK) – 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.

Specifically, USFA and the Alliance will:

  • Challenge manufacturers to formulate food that ensures students receive nutritious AND delicious meals, meeting, and even exceeding, USDA guidelines.
  • Challenge vendors to schools to create new food-related supplies that incorporate green practices that strengthen the health and wellness of students and preserve our environment.

  • Work with vendors, farmers and related organizations to join the effort and increase local procurement of fresh quality food and supplies, while reducing our carbon footprint. 
  • Create easy-to-use procurement tools and resources to allow districts engaged with the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program to access this unprecedented purchasing power.
  • Develop a training and mentoring program that will allow the Urban School Food Alliance to share its tried and true best practices with all the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program districts.

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

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