Leveraging the power of procurement

What you buy matters, your food purchasing decisions can transform the supply chain so that it reflects the values of health, equity, and environmental stewardship.

Your purchases can help:

  • Invest in strong regional food economies that promote nutrition security and build community health, wealth, and climate resilience.
  • Support farmers and food producers who use less resource- and carbon-intensive production practices such as growing plant-based foods, and using regenerative and organic agriculture in order to grow resilient food systems
  • Overcome supply chain challenges, ensuring adequate inventory even during emergencies and supply chain disruptions
  • Support the growth of food and farm businesses owned by people of color which increases equity in the food system and strengthens community wealth and health.

Design and implement a healthier food purchasing program

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Many leading health systems are partners of Practice Greenhealth, our membership organization. Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth provide comprehensive healthier food purchasing guidance and resources including a purchasing standards that identifies product attributes (third-party certifications, label claims, and other attributes), and strategies that complement this standard.

Using these resources can help you leverage your hospital food budget and have a profound impact on the production practices used to grow and produce our food, prioritize local economies, environmental sustainability, a valued workforce, animal welfare and community health and nutrition; while centering climate justice, racial equity and food sovereignty. Practice Greenhealth provides tools, resources, and a community of practice. 

Aligning for impact: Values-based food purchasing across hospitals, schools, & municipalities

TInstitutional food service represents a powerful leverage point for a better food system, spending over $130 billion annually on food. Representing 2,000 hospitals, over 57 public institutions in 23 major cities, 7,800 elementary and secondary schools, and 100 colleges and universities across the country, the Anchors in Action Alliance is a national cross-sector partnership among Health Care Without Harm, Practice Greenhealth, the Center for Good Food Purchasing, and Real Food Challenge. By aligning our purchasing standards under a shared framework, we accelerate institutional collaboration, inspire supply chain shifts, and help improve public and environmental health, and strengthen the economic vitality of communities.

Join a regional innovation project: Procurement

Across the country, hospitals, community-based organizations, and supply chain partners are collaborating to find implementable solutions to critical food systems issues. Join a regional procurement innovation project in your region.

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ProCureWorks Northwest Community of Practice Despite abundant production of local proteins and market demand, Pacific Northwest ranchers and seafood businesses experience significant challenges in reaching institutional markets. From 2018 to 2022, Health Care Without Harm set out with partners, Ecotrust, Oregon Department of Agriculture, and others to develop a multi-pronged approach to address these barriers.

Institutional Purchasing Pathways makes it easy for health care facilities and other institutions to source locally made foods, beverages, and sauces from Portland-area food businesses owned by people of color. Hospitals can partner to improve institutional food sourcing, meet goals related to diversity and inclusion, and build community resilience and overall customer happiness.


Our stories: Multi-region pilot brings regionally-grown, plant-based proteins to patient menus
Field falafel signRead story 


Northeast Food Collective gives institutions year-round access to food that matters by working with small and mid-size farm and food businesses to process, and distribute menu staples. Convened by Health Care Without Harm in 2018, the collective furthers the development of an equitable and resilient regional food system. By purchasing from the Northeast Food Collective you are investing in the regional food economy.


ProCureWorks California This innovative initiative of the Healthy Food in Health Care program affects change across the supply chain by leveraging the purchasing power of hospitals and schools to provide food that supports human and environmental health. 

Our stories: Illinois hospital serves ‘best bowl of oats’ while nourishing patients, soil & local economy

Illinois oats team

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Procure sustainable food service ware and other products

Our groundbreaking guide, featuring stories from 25 health care organizations around the globe, offers a roadmap to develop a sustainable purchasing strategy that prioritizes community and environmental health and safety while reducing costs.

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Practice Greenhealth provides tools, resources, and a community of practice to implement sustainable strategies in health care. Practice Greenhealth helps member hospitals facilitate the purchasing of products that meet our standardized environmental criteria and achieve safer materials benchmarks. The Greenhealth Approved seal makes it easier for hospitals to identify and select products that meet their goals.