To read this document, sign up for free access to our entire library

By joining the ChangeLab Solutions community, you'll get access to all our law & policy resources. And we'll notify you when we release a new tool related to your sector or area of interest.

Episode 3: Food Systems

Building healthy, equitable communities through a just food system

Food & Beverages

What features of food policy drive health equity? How can institutions and businesses use strategic food purchasing to improve community health?

Episode 3 explores the intersection of food policy and procurement strategies to improve community health. You can read our blog post about the challenges of developing and implementing effective food policies, watch a webinar that examines how institutional food purchasing can promote equity in community health and food systems, or listen to a panel of innovators engage in a conversation about food policy and procurement.

“Equitable procurement prioritizes people, animals, and the environment rather than just the bottom line.” – Colleen McKinney, associate director, Center for Good Food Purchasing

Blog post

Developing and implementing effective food policy requires critical thinking to avoid unforeseen negative consequences or missing strategic opportunities to promote health equity. To help readers develop a critical perspective on food policy, episode 3 discusses 8 policies with outcomes that fall along a spectrum of harmful to helpful impact. The blog post also provides resources so that readers can learn more or take action.

Read our blog post: Critical Thinking on Health Equity & Food Systems: 8 Policies


How can we use food policy to drive health equity? In this webinar, we explored how institutional food purchasing can contribute to a more just food system and promote health and equity. Specifically, we discussed the benefits and impacts of procurement strategies for businesses and communities, how procurement strategies can drive health equity, and considerations for building an equitable procurement program or policy.

This webinar begins with reflections from Brett Jones of Evergreen Cooperatives on his organization's unique business model, which leverages institutional procurement to build community wealth and advance equity in Cleveland.

Watch our webinar or download the slides: Building Healthy, Equitable Communities Through a Just Food System

Expert Panel

We convened a virtual panel of innovators in food policy and procurement strategies to engage one another in conversation and answer questions from participants. The panelists brought a diverse range of expertise, from policy advocacy to program design to institutional implementation. You’ll hear insights from

  • Katie Hannon Michel (moderator), legal fellow, ChangeLab Solutions
  • Colleen McKinney, associate director, Center for Good Food Purchasing
  • Kate Seybold, farm to school coordinator, Minneapolis Public Schools
  • Katie Bishop Kendrick, state and community advocacy manager, Voices for Healthy Kids

Listen to our interactive expert panel: Continued Conversation About Food Systems

Episode 3 is only part of the conversation. To learn more about other elements of a healthy, equitable community, check out the rest of the episodes in the Building Healthy, Equitable Communities Series.