Cafeterias and Vending Facilities: Healthy Food in the Federal Workplace

Improving health and wellness in America is a major priority for the U.S. government. There’s no better place to start than at the federal workplace itself. Healthier food at federal cafeterias and vending facilities can have an enormous impact: better choices for the two million civilian employees of the federal government and a precedent to follow for the rest of the country.

GSA maximizes the use of the Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities in its cafeterias and Vending Facilities. These guidelines were developed by multiple federal agencies lead by the Department of Health and Human Services and represent the best practices in nutrition science for improving health and reducing impact to the environment. These Guidelines translate the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs) into clear and definitive standards that food service operators can follow to make their operations healthier and more sustainable.

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Examples of Green Resources for Food Service Operators

GSA offers many examples of products and resources that vendors can use to help meet wellness and sustainability requirements.

  • Examples of green products can be found at the "environmental aisle" of GSA Advantage!
  • A full list of GSA's environmental initiatives can be found at the Go Green page, including examples of green products and services, recycling programs, and energy and water conservation programs all of which can be used to help meet sustainability requirements.

Food Service Operations/Concessions

The Concessions Program provides support to the food service operations and vending facilities in federally owned and leased buildings under the jurisdiction, custody, and control of GSA. GSA provides food service operations to commercial and Randolph-Sheppard vendors through contracts, permits or revocable licenses.

GSA uses the “Food Service Guidelines for Federal Facilities [PDF]" in its cafeterias operated by commercial and Randolph-Sheppard vendors. These guidelines are optional for all Randolph Sheppard vending facilities, although many vendors have taken steps toward implementation. All food service operations are inspected yearly by Federal Occupational Health inspectors to ensure the handling and delivery of high quality and safe food to our building occupants.

Randolph Sheppard Act

GSA is proud to work with our state partners in the support of the Randolph-Sheppard Program. The Program, required by the Randolph Sheppard Act, provides blind persons with employment and self-support through the operation of vending facilities on federal and other property. The program, enacted into law in 1936, was intended to enhance employment opportunities for trained, licensed blind persons to operate vending facilities, and to ensure that individuals who are blind are given priority in the operation of vending facilities on federal property, including cafeterias, snack bars, and automatic vending machines.

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Last Reviewed: 2021-05-05