ProCureWorks photo collage

ProCureWorks is an initiative of the Healthy Food in Health Care Program at Health Care Without Harm. It is an innovative cross-sector collaboration that catalyzes meaningful change in our food system. The initiative leverages the combined purchasing power of five California school districts representing over 530 schools and eight California health care systems with over 55 member hospitals to create healthier food choices for the well-being of children, patients, staff, and families.

Hospitals and school districts as anchor institutions are integral to the transformation of the food system because they are major purchasers of goods and services in the communities they serve. Anchor institutions are rooted in place, hold significant investments in real estate and social capital, are large employers in their communities, and are oriented toward community health goals.

Wielding nearly $100 million in purchasing power, the ProCureWorks community of practice is made up of thought leaders across California anchor institutions that have committed to increasing their procurement of healthy, regionally produced and sustainable foods. We seek food products that are affordable and offer greater transparency in production practices including how the food is grown/raised, processed, and sold. In 2018 we developed the ProCureWorks local and sustainable purchasing criteria to inform potential vendors about the required minimum and preferred purchasing standards of those participating in the ProCureWorks initiative. The community of practice has identified poultry, beef, grains, and produce as the first set of priorities for purchasing more local and sustainable foods.

We hope to expand the California ProCureWorks initiative to include other institutional sectors such as universities in the near future. This cross-sector model will also be expanding to other regions across the United States beginning with the Pacific Northwest in 2019.

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To learn more about the ProCureWorks initiative in California and how to get involved, contact Courtney Crenshaw, the California regional procurement and engagement coordinator.

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ProCureWorks is generously supported by the following funders:

  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Scorpio Rising