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ERIC Number: EJ1161326
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1559-5676
The Purchasing Power of Collaboration
Rosenthal, Amy; Mavrolas, Pamela; Rusmore, Barbara; Liquori, Toni
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v41 n2 Fall 2017
Purpose/Objectives: School Food Focus (Focus) developed the Focus Midwest project on the premise that school food professionals (SFPs) could work together to minimize effort and maximize potential to find new or improved products to serve. Focus designed this project as an experiment to explore how and to what extent this collaborative approach could effect changes in the supply chain leading to improvements in public school nutrition. Methods: Focus Midwest school food professionals (SFPs) participated in a collaborative process from 2012 to 2015. SFPs representing seven districts in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Ohio agreed on types of products to pursue and developed a joint understanding of desirable food attributes. The SFPs subsequently worked together to access these products by sharing information and specifications, partnering with USDA Foods, and collaborating with manufacturers. Results: The Focus Midwest collaboration yielded two important results: 1) SFPs actively improved the quality and availability of items for their own district and on the school food market broadly; and 2) SFPs built a community of practice that provides ongoing learning opportunities, new ideas to improve meal programs, and a safe space to share challenges. Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: The experience of Focus Midwest indicates that through collaboration, SFPs can both achieve tangible procurement successes and develop relationships to support their ongoing efforts individually and collectively.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Iowa; Michigan; Nebraska; Minnesota; Ohio
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A