2019 Good Food Institution Hero
Austin Independent School District
The Center for Good Food Purchasing is honored to recognize Austin Independent School District (AISD) as our Good Food Institution Hero for the innovative steps the district has taken to achieve the four-star status in the Good Food Purchasing Program.
Austin Independent School District Nutrition Services, under the direction of Anneliese Tanner, has never been afraid to try new things. In fact, they were one of the first institutions outside of Los Angeles (along with the University of Texas at Austin and Austin Convention Center) to enroll in the Good Food Purchasing Program. The Program closely aligned with their mission to ensure that their procurement is healthy, clean, fair, and sustainable, and that students have equitable access to healthy, high quality food. This mission is reflected in their operations and the meals they serve each day. As Tanner commented, “school cafes at Austin ISD feature daily salad bars, plant-based options, and locally grown, sustainably raised, clean label ingredients. Our menus include chef-prepared, scratch-cooked recipes.”
Since 2016, the Center for Good Food Purchasing has worked with AISD to track and measure consistent improvement in their performance across the value categories. But this year, AISD approached their Good Food Purchasing Program commitment with renewed purpose: they doubled down on their commitment and secured funding for a dedicated staff person to help them obtain a four-star rating and earn their Good Food Provider status.
With support from their consulting team, AISD has made swift progress in implementing strategies to accelerate their good food purchases by releasing bids for bulk organic milk and grassfed beef that will help bolster performance in environmental sustainability and animal welfare. They’ve also worked closely with vendors to build knowledge and buy-in so that vendors can supply them with the products they need.
As Tanner told us, “At Austin ISD we are inspired by the progress we have made with our vendor relations. By making our vendors aware of the direction our purchasing efforts are headed, they are making changes to their products and practices, therefore creating more good food options not only in Austin, but for schools across the country.”
AISD’s innovation and leadership is setting the tone for the rest of the country to follow, and we are proud to honor them as a Good Food Hero.
“At Austin ISD we are inspired by the progress we have made with our vendor relations. By making our vendors aware of the direction our purchasing efforts are headed, they are making changes to their products and practices, therefore creating more good food options not only in Austin, but for schools across the country.”
Anneliese Tanner, Director, Austin ISD Nutrition Services