The UC Global Food Initiative involves all 10 UC campuses, UC’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, with guidance from a systemwide working group appointed by President Napolitano and the chancellors. More than 20 subcommittees and multicampus working groups are drawing on the efforts of faculty, students and staff, as well as engagement with the community.

These working groups encompass matters related to:

Curriculum

How do we teach students about food and agricultural systems, and communicate that information with the public? Global Food Initiative curriculum subcommittees are helping prepare the next generation of science communicators, enhance experiential learning opportunities, increase food literacy, catalog existing food-related courses and develop new online introduction courses to food-related issues.

CLEAR

In affiliation with the UC Davis World Food Center's Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy, CLEAR (Communication, Literacy and Education for Agricultural Research) will prepare the next generation of science communicators and serve as the world's premier resource for science-based information on food and agriculture.

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CLEAR-UC Berkeley

CLEAR-UCB (Communication, Literacy and Education for Agricultural Research) will continue the work begun under the original CLEAR project to prepare the next generation of science communicators with the skills to engage the public in conversations about science, and is serving as an exemplar for how to provide science-based information on food and agriculture to these important clientele.

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Experiential Learning

This subcommittee is working to increase, improve and make more accessible experiential learning opportunities for UC students in relation to food, campus farms and gardens, cooking and nutrition, food justice, food access, and food education. The subcommittee is strengthening the UC garden-based programs and is working on best practices toolkits to share with communities across UC, the state and nationwide.

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Food Literacy

This subcommittee is working to define food literacy and developing a UC plan to advance food literacy that is broadly adaptable by other organizations nationwide.

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Growing Food Literacy

This two-year Growing Food Literacy (GFL) Project is a collaboration of UCLA faculty and students with the Seeds to Plate Program at Mark Twain Middle School (MTMS), a Title 1 school in the second largest school district in the U.S, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). Leveraging UCLA service learning students as “train the trainer,” this GFI committee aims to increase knowledge about the factors that impact food choices for both middle school and university students. Through knowledge share, a better understanding of food literacy and identifying best practices for choosing safe, affordable and nutritious food the GFL project will provide a toolkit for middle school students and their families that will also be exportable to other campuses and institutions.

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Online Intro Food Course

This subcommittee is working to develop two online introduction courses to food-related issues: a UC Davis course, “Feeding the World: From Farm to Fork,” that provides a foundation on the physical, biological and social science issues influencing the food supply and encourages students to question popular assumptions and myths about food, food production, consumption and related issues; and a UC Berkeley course, “Edible Education — The Rise and Future of the Food Movement,” that introduces students to food system complexities as seen by leaders in agriculture, food safety, food security, farm labor and food trade and examines how to make the system more sustainable and equitable.

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Urban Ag and Food Security Field Education Program

The Urban Ag and Food Security Field Education Program will initiate a training program that will expose UC Riverside students to hands-on agricultural skills and knowledge using UC Riverside’s R’Garden as the living learning laboratory. Students will engage with the local farm community and mentoring youth in the 4H Juntos Summer Program. This project will be in coordination with efforts from the City of Riverside and UC Cooperative Extension agents and will address the lack of skilled young people interested in the local agricultural systems, food security on campus and in the community. The program will focus on training youth and diverse people to join in the creation of sustainable and technologically savvy-agricultural careers while connecting with the existing network of agricultural and food professionals in the region.

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Operations

How do we improve our operations so that we increase access to nutritious and sustainable food? Global Food Initiative operations subcommittees are working to ensure food security among UC students, facilitate small growers’ ability to do business with UC, increase procurement of sustainable food, enhance the availability of healthy choices in campus vending machines, and reduce waste in both residential and retail dining.

Food Access Security and Basic Needs

This subcommittee is working to address student food security/access, hunger and equity in California. This team has been instrumental in establishing formal food security working groups on each UC campus to coordinate efforts such as food pantries for emergency relief, and expanding Swipe Out Hunger programs. More broadly, the co-chairs have increased collaboration with intersegmental partners, and county and state offices to register students for CalFresh (California’s nutrition assistance program), expanding awareness campaigns about student support services, and enhancing financial aid communications about housing and student costs.

Read more

                Student food access security and basic needs webpage

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Healthy Campus Network

This subcommittee is defining a linked intercampus network that will provide a hub at each UC campus for all health and wellness-related activities.

Read more: Healthy Campus Network webpage

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Small Growers

This subcommittee is working on facilitating small growers’ ability to do business with UC.

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Sustainable & Nutritious Food Procurement

This subcommittee is working on best practices for sustainable and nutritious food sourcing for campus procurement.

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Vending Machines

This subcommittee is working to develop UC systemwide vending machine standards to enhance the availability of healthy choices on UC campuses.

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Zero Waste Dining

This subcommittee is working to identify and expand best practices within UC for achieving zero waste in residential and retail dining and develop public toolkits for use beyond UC. This workgroup recently produced waste audit and waste characterization case studies that include a downloadable waste audit calculator.

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Policy

How do we raise awareness about food issues, help inform food policy and elevate food policy as a priority? Global Food Initiative policy subcommittees have launched two lecture series (on food equity and on healthy students/campuses/communities), collected policy success stories, and are mobilizing law schools to address food equity and ethics.

Food Law Policy Clinic

This UCLA School of Law is launching a legal clinic dedicated to providing law and policy support to organizations working to advance healthy food access and sustainable food production.

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Law Schools & Food Equity

This subcommittee is working to mobilize UC’s law schools to address issues of food equity and ethics.

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Lecture Series: Food Equity

This subcommittee is creating a systemwide lecture series on food equity to build a broader public understanding of food equity issues and the adverse effects for marginalized communities of both food production processes and food distribution systems.

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Lecture Series: Healthy Students/Campuses/Communities

This subcommittee is creating a systemwide lecture series on healthy students, healthy campuses and healthy communities to raise the profile of food and health interface issues as an integrated part of our daily lives, starting locally and building globally. The team has recently created a demo kitchen to teach students basic skills on how to prepare a wholesome and nutritious meal on a budget.

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Success Stories & Engagement

This subcommittee is collecting policy success stories to leverage research for policy change and raise awareness of the role UC’s research plays in informing policy related to food and agriculture systems.

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Research

How do we raise awareness about UC’s food-related research and explore new frontiers in food and agriculture? Global Food Initiative research subcommittees are working to survey UC students about food security, catalog UC research in sustainable agriculture, share success stories in fisheries and international food issues, explore the impact of climate change on agriculture, and examine urban agriculture’s potential to reduce food disparities.

Data Mining: California Agriculture

This subcommittee is working to mine, synthesize and analyze existing data on the current and future impact of changing climate conditions on California agriculture productivity and sustainability.

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Data Mining: Food Security

This subcommittee will assess food availability and food security of UC students to better design programs and outreach efforts, conducting a survey of undergraduate and graduate students at all 10 UC campuses. This team conducted the 2015 Student Food Access and Security Survey to better gauge the prevalence of food insecurity which was one of the largest student food security studies of its time. The team will be conducting further research and a systematic review of the many studies that have been published on student food security as it relates to U.S. college populations.

Read more

                Student food access and security webpage

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Food From the Sea

This subcommittee is working to compile success stories on research related to food and sustainability issues in fisheries and the maritime environment.

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Sustainable Ag and Food Systems Research Catalog

This subcommittee is working to catalog UC research in sustainable agricultural processes and practices.

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Success Stories: International Food Issues

This subcommittee is working to compile short overviews of international food-related work by UC researchers.

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Urban Agriculture and Food Disparities

This subcommittee is working to critically analyze and evaluate urban agriculture (including community gardens, urban farms, food forests, aquaculture and animal husbandry) in low-income and underserved neighborhoods to examine urban agriculture's potential to reduce food disparities and increase food security.

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Service

How do we improve nutrition at K-12 schools, expand farmers markets and increase student engagement in food issues? Global Food Initiative service subcommittees are working to help establish farmers markets on campuses, expand local food production, maximize the use of campus dining meals, develop healthy and sustainable dining options for K-12 students, and involve students in fellowship programs.

Edible Campus

This subcommittee aims to address local food security by repurposing underutilized spaces for food production, turning waste into food, and engaging students as growers and producers.

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Engaged thru Quality University Community Infrastructure for Participatory Research and Popular Education (EQUIPPED)

This GFI committee will be building off the work established under the Urban Agriculture and Food Disparities project addressing a major challenge facing civically engaged researchers and educators in their efforts to establish healthy and just urban food systems in California’s disadvantaged communities. By building trust and establishing relationships and local knowledge networks in several of Southeastern San Diego’s disadvantaged neighborhoods, the project’s scientists, researchers, students, residents and allied organizations will design and co-produce civic infrastructure to enhance university-community connectivity. The infrastructure will connect students, citizen scientists and faculty to collaborate with residents on projects addressing the authentic demands of local communities with the goal of improving food and science literacy in ways that engender proactive civic engagement and social learning for health and well-being.

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International Fellowship Program

In affiliation with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), this program will provide 2- to 6-monthlong international fellowships in developing countries around agriculture, food systems and related social and economic issues for early-career professionals enrolled in graduate programs at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Riverside and UC Santa Cruz.

Read more

                Going global: UC fellows to tackle development projects

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K-12 Dining Options

This subcommittee is working with local school districts to develop healthy and sustainable dining options for K-12 students.

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K-12 Food Hub Collaborative Learning

This subcommittee, in connection with the K-12 Dining Options subcommittee, is convening a food hub network across California and producing best practices for building capacity and regional or local supply chains that move food produced by small- and mid-sized farmers to institutional buyers, including schools and universities, providing consumers with regular access to fresh and healthy foods. Learn more about food hubs in this video, “Food Hubs: Valuable Players in a Sustainable Food System.

Read more:

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K-12 "Food, What?!" Partnership Project

In affiliation with the "Food, What?!" youth empowerment and food justice and food education organization at UC Santa Cruz, this subcommittee is developing a toolkit and experiential education model of on-farm and in-class core programming and curriculum for high school teens, including integration of farming, nutrition and cooking, equity and trainers tools for empowerment. This subcommittee also is working in connection with the K-12 Dining Options subcommittee.

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#MyLastTrash

Part of the sustainability program for the University of California System to go to zero waste by 2020, the GFI is supporting Fellowships for the #MyLastTrash (MLT) campaign, a UC-wide waste communication campaign. The Fellows act as engagement agents to work on campuses across the system to forward the MLT campaign at the intersections of Zero Waste and food waste, food insecurity, and food justice. MLT is envisioned to reach UC students and allow them to learn and translate their knowledge to action in an effort to reduce waste generated, promote the reuse of materials, and redirect from the landfill to recycling or compost.

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Student Fellowships

This subcommittee has helped organize the UC President’s Global Food Initiative Student Fellowship Program.

Read more:

                UC students awarded Global Food Initaitive fellowships

                UC extends Global Food Initiative student fellowship program

                Dozens of UC students awarded Global Food Initiative fellowships

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Student Logo Design

This subcommittee held a student contest to design a logo for the UC Global Food Initiative; the winning logo is available for use by GFI subcommittees and projects for GFI-sponsored events and materials.

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Swipes for Meals

This subcommittee is working on expanding the “Shares for Swipes” program, which allows students to share a “swipe” or ticket for one dining meal with a low-income student. What began as a grassroots movement at UCLA has grown into a nationwide movement. For more information on how to start a chapter on your campus contact the Swipe Out Hunger organization at swipehunger.org/start

UC World Food Day & Student Video Challenge

This subcommittee is organizing a UC systemwide video challenge and seminar to celebrate and build awareness around World Food Day (Oct. 16). View more information.

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