Robert Penna

GFI Fellow - Class of 2015

Undergraduate Student,
American Literature and Culture; Film Minor


The Lunch Tray Food Project


Undergraduate students like myself used media production to explore the infrastructures, politics, culture and economics that shape the production of school food. While our case study centered on school food in the Los Angeles Unified School District and its symbiotic relationship to food systems at UCLA, we also make room to consider alternative means of food production in connection to sustainability initiatives and health education programs for families in the Los Angeles region.


As an aspiring filmmaker and documentarian, I was admitted to the Global Food Initiative (GFI) student fellowship program, where I was involved in audiovisual media production regarding nutrition and sustainability. My goal was to further improve my production skills by applying them to the topics of food safety, public health and sustainability. I wanted to be a part of the production process of this overall project. In doing so, I not only learned how to use media for public awareness, but I also learned how to dissect a topic through research.

Future Plans

I am looking forward to attending the GFI symposium in San Francisco on July 20. As of now, the fellowship projects are on hold. We will be staying in touch with each other during the summer.


Andy Rice and Wendy Slusser