Each year, the City of Philadelphia serves or sells more than 20 million meals and snacks.
In June, 2014, Mayor Nutter signed executive order 4-14, which established citywide nutrition standards. On July 30th, 2014 the Department of Public Health’s (PDPH) Get Healthy Philly program and the Food Policy Advisory Council (FPAC) co-hosted a Healthy Food Vendor Forum to educate and inform the general public about new citywide nutrition standards. Standards are based on 2010 Dietary Guidelines combined with food standards from other governments and feedback from city agencies.
You may be asking yourself…So what does all this mean? What are nutrition standards?
What is PDPH planning to accomplish for Philadelphia and its residents with these standards?
- Create consistent, healthy standards across all city agencies.
- Improve the health of Philadelphians, especially nutritionally vulnerable populations.
- Reduce overall health care costs for chronic diseases.
The nutrition standards will change the food and beverages purchased, prepared, and served by the city. All City agencies that provide food and vendors who contract with the City must adhere to the standards. Examples of where standards will apply include: vending machines on public property, health care facilities, correctional facilities, City-funded afterschool/summer programs. Additionally, standards will encourage local, fresh and sustainable ingredients as much as possible.
The nutrition standards provide comprehensive guidelines for:
- Nutrient content for individual ingredients purchased (e.g. fiber, sodium, protein, etc.)
- Healthy meal and snack options (e.g. caloric limits, servings, and preparation)
- Vending machine content requirements
By creating uniform standards across city agencies, the City of Philadelphia can help to impact health concerns by offering consistent and nutritious options for the tens of thousands of citizens who consume food provided by the city every year.
The July event on the new standards featured speakers form the City of Philadelphia discussing the contract process for food vendors and professional services. Representatives from the Procurement Department, Finance Department, and Office of Economic Opportunity all presented valuable information relating to contracting with the city. See the links below to find out more.