The Good Food Purchasing Initiative’s Guide for Growers and Food Businesses

Attention growers & food businesses! Are you interested in selling to schools and other public institutions? The Chicago Food Policy Action Council has created The Good Food Purchasing Initiative’s Guide for Growers and Food Businesses! While developed for the metro-Chicago area, growers and food businesses in other areas may benefit from this guide’s information on values-based procurement and more. 

Why was this guide created:

Members of the Good Food Purchasing Initiative developed this resource for people growing food or running food businesses to learn about new, emerging market opportunities being created by the Metro Chicago Good Food Purchasing Initiative and the Good Food Purchasing Policy resolutions adopted by the City of Chicago and Cook County.

Who is this guide for: 

This guide is intended to support people who grow food or operate small food businesses in selling their food product to local institutions. Some examples of who this guide would be beneficial to include (but not limited to):

  • Farmers of any scale (urban, suburban, or rural)
  • Ranchers of any scale (urban, suburban, or rural)
  • Food businesses (value added products, bakeries, creameries, etc.)
  • Food distributors
  • Food service providers
  • Community partners

The guide is specifically geared toward supporting local stakeholders in the Metro Chicago area, but we hope its contents benefit others across the country who want to explore selling food to community nutrition programs that serve students, seniors, hospital patients, and other residents. While many of the names and places are Metro Chicago specific, we anticipate the information to be easily transferable to other regions.

What is included in the guide: 
  • Information about the Good Food Purchasing Initiative of Metro Chicago
  • Institutions adopting the Good Food Purchasing Policy in Metro Chicago
  • Business planning resources
  • Requirements for selling to institutional markets
  • Challenges and opportunities in institutional sales
  • General resources and support

This guide is available in print and online.

View the guide online

To request a print copy of the guide, please email

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