Boston’s Supplier Diversity program was established in 2021 following completion of the city’s Disparity Study and is attempting to create fair and equitable access to City contracting opportunities. The city is trying to do this by:
- developing inclusive procurement practices
- monitoring Boston area contracts
- providing technical assistance
- offering business certification, and
- connecting minority and woman-owned businesses to current and future contracting opportunities.
The city is now putting this program to work. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Boston Public Schools (BPS) have announced a new minority contract with City Fresh Foods, a Roxbury, Mass. employee and Black-owned food service company. Under the agreement, which will begin on July 1, City Fresh will provide breakfast, lunch, after-school meals, fresh snacks, and summer meals for 50,000 students in BPS.
With a projected value of over $17 million for the contract, the City Fresh deal is the largest non-construction contract for a certified Black-owned business in Boston history.
Wednesday’s announcement came following the city unveiling a Green New Deal for Boston Public Schools, a commitment to upgrading buildings, including a $2 billion investment to launch 14 new renovation projects while accelerating ongoing district-wide improvements, including school kitchens.
“Transformative change for BPS starts with the everyday experiences of our students, and this new contract ensures every child will have access to nutritious foods to energize and nourish them through the day,” Wu said. “We’re proud to partner with a local, Roxbury-based, Black-owned business to deliver for our young people.”As part of the contract, City Fresh will design menus ensuring high-quality and nutrient-rich meals for all BPS students and fulfill the goals of the Boston Good Food Purchasing Program, launched by the Mayor while serving as a Boston City Council member. The purpose of the program is to align the city’s food procurement with the goals of racial equity, environmental sustainability, and local economic development.