St. Joseph’s Health System Group Purchasing Organization collaborated with My Sustainable Canada to help Ontario hospitals increase their purchasing of local food by 15%, resulting in an investment of $1.3 million in healthy food and sustainable agriculture across a 2-year period. Both organizations were recognized as “Ontario’s Local Food Champions’ (2012) by the Broader Public Sector Investment Fund based on the results achieved from this project.
St. Joseph’s Health System-Group Purchasing Organisation (SJHS-GPO) is a member-driven organisation, and it was a series of requests from its members that first prompted SJHS-GPO to look into local and sustainable food. For SJHS-GPO, supporting local food is a win-win. They knew it was important to their membership, but they also recognised that it helps support the local agricultural community and ensures public health care dollars are spent for the public’s good.