Cafeterias and Public Facilities Policies

Every day, millions of Americans get their food from government worksites or other public facilities. Making changes in the types of food and beverages available in these settings can improve the diets of people who eat there. The resources offered below can help your partners implement food service guidelines to provide and promote healthier choices.

A worksite cafeteria salad barThe CDC’s Food Service Guidelines Implementation Toolkit includes action steps to implement food service guidelines that increase the availability of healthier food and beverage options at food service venues, including cafeterias, concession stands, snack bars, and vending machines. It may be helpful to note that the guidance from these documents is based on the Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities which were developed by nine federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

If you are just starting this work, you can use the Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities rather than reinventing the wheel. The comprehensive Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities includes standards for food and nutrition as well as facility efficiency, environmental support, community development, food safety, and behavioral design. Although written to improve access to healthier foods and beverages at federal facilities, this document is a model set of guidelines for many other settings and can be readily used in your community. This document was developed by nine federal agencies including the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. (Note: These are recommendations for non-DoD facilities. For recommendations for military installations, see the DoD’s Go for Green tools for dining facilities and galleys.)

You can supplement the dietary choices offered in public places and encourage individuals to continue healthy food choices at home by installing farmers markets in or near public facilities. The national Farmers Market Coalition provides several resources to help navigate the process, including a resource library, a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) guide, a Farmers Market Legal Toolkit, networking and one-on-one technical assistance, and state by state resources.

What you can do:

  • Share the guidelines with public facilities located in areas with larger populations of military or around military installations.
  • If National Guard troops are operating in state-owned facilities learn more about how to encourage healthier vending in state facilities.
  • Work with your state’s farmers market contacts to increase the number of farmers markets that serve military populations.

Careers at NACDD

You are exiting NACDD’s website to enter a third-party site