Nutrition Policy Institute collaborated with Impact Justice, ChangeLab Solutions and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to launch a first-in-the-nation ‘Farm to Corrections' Harvest of the Month pilot project bringing California-grown produce to incarcerated populations in California in three prisons. Several California state policies support the project, including AB-822 which provides price incentives for state agencies to purchase California-grown produce and AB-778 which requires that 60% of state agency's produce is purchased from within the state. The project, led by NPI's Wendi Gosliner, Ron Strochlic and Carolyn Chelius, produced a report summarizing the opportunities and challenges in bringing more California-grown produce to the state's prison system, a second report of promising farm-to-corrections practices from across the United States, as well as several trauma-informed nutrition education workshops across the state for formerly incarcerated individuals. The project was featured in several media outlets, including an article by FarmProgress on October 6, 2023, “'Farm to corrections' project feeds prisoners” and the My Ag Life podcast episode on October 6, 2023, 'Farm to Corrections' Project Benefits Incarcerated Individuals, Growers. The podcast recording featuring Carolyn's interview begins at 10:23. The article was also featured in the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources News & Events on September 28, 2023, “‘Farm to corrections' project provides fresh produce to people in prison, boosts California growers.”
The University of California's Nutrition Policy Institute released brief training videos to aid family child care home providers in promoting proper nutrition among young children. Current California law mandates only an hour of nutrition training for child care providers licensed after 2015, omitting over 30,000 providers who care for nearly 310,000 children. To address this gap, NPI has unveiled seven brief videos, each under 60 seconds, in English and Spanish. These videos, which can be freely used by educators, align with evidence-based recommendations for what and how to feed infants and toddlers. They were developed for the one-hour online trainings, "Infant and Toddler Feeding Recommendations for Family Child Care Home Providers," available in Spanish as well. While California providers can access the trainings for free, those outside the state can access them for $15. Each training concludes with a completion certificate. The UC Nutrition Policy Institute collaborated with UCSF California Childcare Health Program, UCSF School of Nursing, UC Cooperative Extension, and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources News and Outreach in Spanish for this project, supported by a UC ANR grant.
Access to high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables in California state prisons is poor, which has negative impacts on incarcerated peoples' health and well-being. Nutrition Policy Institute and collaborators from Impact Justice and ChangeLab Solutions shared about their Farm to Corrections California project at the Northeast Farm to Institution Summit 2023. The project aims to improve access to fresh produce during and after incarceration in California. Speaker shared results from interviews with formerly incarcerated individuals, correction facility staff, policymakers, growers, and farm-to-corrections advocates as well as scans of local procurement preference policies and correction facility food purchasing records. They described efforts to conduct a Harvest of the Month pilot project and implementation of nutrition education workshops for returning citizens and other justice-impacted individuals. Speakers included Heile Gantan from Impact Justice, Carolyn Chelius from the Nutrition Policy Institute, and Vincent Young from ChangeLab Solutions. The Farm-to-Corrections California virtual session was on April 18, 2023 from 11:30-12:30 p.m. PDT. The Northeast Farm to Institution Summit 2023 tookplace virtually April 18-20 and in person in Providence, Rhode Island April 27-28, 2023.
Healthy Eating Research (HER), a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, conducted a rapid Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to understand how improving school nutrition standards could impact the nutritional quality of school meals, school meal participation, student dietary consumption, students' health and wellbeing, and academic performance. The HIA features several studies conducted by the Nutrition Policy Institute, including a study showing the effectiveness of removing flavored milk from schools in reducing added sugar intake without compromising the intake of milk-related nutrients. Another showed that schools successfully implemented the school meal nutrition standards per the 2010 Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act. It also features a study showing that limiting competitive foods offered in California schools didn't lead to significant revenue loss and improved schools adherence to nutrition standards. Overall, the HIA evidence reviewed suggests that aligning school meal nutrition standards with the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans could have significant positive implications for child nutrition and health and is likely to increase student participation in school meal programs, improve food security, increase school food service revenue, and improve academic performance.
Nutrition Policy Institute researcher Wendi Gosliner presents virtually at the 2021 American Public Health Association 2021 Annual Meeting and Expo October 24-27. Gosliner and NPI co-authors Ron Strochlic and Marisa Tsai present a virtual talk on October 26 titled 'Increasing fresh local produce in prisons: Promising practices to improve health, foster food justice, and support local food systems'. Gosliner presents an in-person talk with NPI co-authors Celeste Felix, Strochlic and Tsai on October 27 titled ‘Texting monthly nutrition messages to all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants in San Diego county, California: Promising pilot study results'. Gosliner is also co-author of a talk presented by Mekhala Hoskote of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health titled ‘“Hidden pandemic”: Delays in healthcare among low-income families in California during the COVID-19 pandemic' on October 22. The 2021 APHA meeting theme is 'Creating the Healthiest Nation: Strengthening Social Connectedness', and is a hybrid conference allowing attendees to participate online or in-person in Denver, Colorado.