Government's Role in Food Procurement - Baltimore

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Do you run a small business, or have dreams to start one? Each week on The Tidbit, brought to you by Cureate, we discuss tidbits of knowledge around starting and running a small business with a food and beverage lens. Kim Bryden sits down with guest experts and shares trending new topics on food, business and culture to help best prepare you for your business journey. 

EPISODE 31: GOVERNMENT’S ROLE IN FOOD PROCUREMENT - BALTIMORE

A FEW QUOTES

  • We look at food systems change from multiple different access points.

  • From the Baltimore perspective, people are often asking: what are schools doing for food? […] The role no one is asking about is: what about city government’s food procurement?

  • Healthy Food Priority Areas - kids and seniors are disproportionally impacted.

  • We’ve had summer meals forever (600 summer meal sites). […] There are a couple key things we could do to support - it was a lowest bid contract, and we changed it to a values-based RFP (request for proposal). These values include food waste reduction, local sourcing.

  • One contractor supplied all meals across the city. We decided to divide the contract up into (4) quadrants for summer meals. This way different players could play.

  • We need the big contracts who can be there any time, any day. But we also need to make sure there’s a space for the small to mid-scale.

  • The work that I do is successful when it changes over time. I find the gaps, and help fill it.

  • Have CSAs be an allowable use for employee wellness health incentive (for particular labor unions) - $250 stipend.

  • If you’re a city employee, you can buy into any CSA where you live. CSA needed to be on Maryland Best.

  • Procurement 101: it will have this criteria for WBE/MBE requirements. You have to be approved and on the list. Make sure you are on that list!
     

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