Creating a More Humane Food System with Groundbreaking Legislation in New York State

November 29, 2021

fresh produce

Schools, hospitals, correctional facilities and other public institutions in New York provide hundreds of millions of meals each year—and across the state, these institutions spend well over $1 billion each year on meals. However, their purchasing power is limited under current state law. They are required to purchase foods from the “lowest responsible bidder.” This forces institutions to source the cheapest option for the food they prepare and serve, making it nearly impossible to purchase higher-welfare products. 

This month, with the support of the ASPCA and our partners in the New York City and Buffalo Good Food Purchasing Coalitions, Senator Michelle Hinchey (D-Saugerties) introduced legislation (S.7534) that would allow New York to be the first state in the nation with the ability to spend up to 10% more to source food from vendors that meet different values-based criteria, including higher animal welfare. This important and groundbreaking legislation will enable and encourage public institutions to use the power of food procurement to support animal welfare, environmental sustainability, racial equity, fair labor practices, local economies and nutrition.

Consumers continue to demand better treatment for farm animals, and public institutions have the opportunity to lead the way in sourcing food that matches consumers’ values. With the passage of this bill, New York State could significantly shift the food system toward more humane practices and improve the lives of millions of farm animals. 

New York, let’s do this!

Join our Advocacy Brigade to make sure you’re ready to take action when this important initiative moves in the state legislature this coming session!