Working closely with the Multnomah County Sustainability Initiative, the Food Policy Council inspired a pilot project in 2004 with county correctional facilities to purchase and track local produce purchases. This resulted in approximately $57,000 (35% - 55% of total purchases) spent on produce from local farms in Oregon and SW Washington at no additional cost.
As a result of this pilot, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office included sustainability criteria to the food specifications of their 2005 Request for Proposals and the subsequent contract for food service. The eventual contractor, Aramark, plans to track local purchases of fresh produce, frozen produce, and dairy and eggs. An electronic reporting system is in development for clear, consistent reporting of local produce purchased.