Community Activities /

Public Funds for Healthy Foods Campaign

06 Sep 2021

LINKS is conducting a healthy public food procurement policy advocacy campaign, "Public Funds for Healthy Foods" which aims to increase awareness about healthy public food procurement and service among LINKS community members and motivate them to advocate for their local and national policymakers to make commitments to adopt public food procurement policies at the UN Food System Summit on September 23, 2021 and the Nutrition for Growth Summit on December 7-8, 2021.   

Read more about N4G commitments here: Guide on Commitments on Nutrition for Health and NCDs

Check back weekly for new resources on healthy public food procurement and service as well as ways you can get involved in our campaign. Download our social media kit to share with your networks:

What is healthy public food procurement?

Healthy public food procurement and service (PFP) policy is a policy adopted by government that sets the criteria for the service and sale of food in public settings and/or government expenditure on food (including purchases and subsidies) to promote healthy diets.

Settings, venues and programs where healthy public food procurement and service policies are applicable:

What is a healthy diet?

 The primary purpose of healthy public food procurement and service (PFP) policies is to define nutrition standards for food that is purchased, served, or sold with government funds.   

“Healthy” can mean different things for different people, cultures, and environments. That’s why it’s important to establish a common understanding of a “healthy diet” in the context of healthy PFP policy. According to the WHO Action Framework for developing and implementing public food procurement and service policies, the core principles of a healthy diet are to:    

  • Limit the intake of free sugars
  • Shift fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats, and eliminate industrially procured trans fats
  • Limit sodium consumption and ensure that salt is iodized
  • Increase consumption of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and pulses
  • Ensure the availability of free, safe drinking water

What are the benefits of healthy PFP?

Some of the advantages of healthy PFP policies include, but are not limited to:

  • Opportunity for governments to lead by example
  • Increased purchasing power – Bulk procurement boosts availability of healthy, affordable, culturally acceptable foods
  • Public health benefits – Can be a “double duty action” for improving health and reducing malnutrition
  • Financial/cost-saving benefits – Reduces healthcare expenditures and stimulates local agricultural economy
  • Increased productivity – More job opportunities for local farmers and producers when governments incentivize local food procurement
  • Educational attainment & retention – Lower rates of absenteeism when schools provide healthy food options for students 

How can healthy food procurement complement other food system action?

Integrating healthy PFP policy into other food systems action with complementary goals can encourage buy-in from government and industry stakeholders. PFP gives governments purchasing power to buy healthy foods that can also promote environmental sustainability, food safety, animal welfare, local agriculture, and other food policy priorities.  

Additional resources

How to get involved
  • Write a letter to or arrange a meeting with your Minister of Health / Agriculture or other key government stakeholders using the above "Email your policymakers" button to raise awareness about healthy public food procurement and service policies and encourage them to make a commitment at the upcoming summit.
  • Share the social cards and messages from our social media kit with your networks. Be sure to use #PublicFundsForHealthyFoods and tag your country's policymakers.
  • Sign up to attend the Nutrition for Growth summit and encourage your organization to register a commitment to healthy public food procurement. 
  • Join the School Meals Coalition to register a commitment to healthy public food procurement in schools around the world.
  • Review your country's current national dietary guidelines, if available. Are there existing policies or guidelines that specify requirements for food purchased, served, and/or sold in public settings? Are these policies being enforced? Are these in line with the global guidance on a healthy diet? Try to determine the list of institutions and settings where your government is involved in food purchasing, service, or sales. 
  • Brainstorm with a colleague and identify strategies to advocate for the development and inclusion of nutrition standards in a public food procurement policy in your country. Once you have some ideas, you can liaise with other local organizations to educate them about public food procurement and start building a working group/network of advocates for healthy PFP policy in your country.

Fill out the form below and share how you have been involved with promoting healthy public food procurement in your country, including but not limited to outreach on social media, conferences you've attended, or meetings you hosted with government stakeholders:

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