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Stories from Community Nutrition and Health programs
  • Boys and Girls Club of Garden Grove member, Amore, reads a nutrition label for an activity on healthy eating. All photos by Saoimanu Sope.
    4-H, Boys and Girls Club, UCCE partner to inspire Orange County kids

    Small containers with varying levels of sugar sit next to a row of beverages, including water, fruit juices, soda, a sports drink and chocolate milk. Trying to match each container with the beverage that contains its corresponding amount of sugar, Amore, a fourth grader, reads the nutrition label on the orange juice bottle. “What does the bottle say?” asked a student in the audience, attempting to help Amore. Life skills such as how to read a nutrition label are representative of learning that youth can expect when joining 4-H,...

  • “Our findings have really informed policy and moved the field in a way that I could have hardly conceived of 20 or 30 years ago, when I first started working in this area; I could not imagine that we would have achieved all the policy impacts that we have,” said Lorrene Ritchie, NPI director, seen here (left) conferring with data analyst Sri Hewawitharana.
    Nutrition Policy Institute: 10 years of making healthy choices more accessible for all

    Adaptado al español NPI researchers provide influential evidence that shapes federal, state nutrition programs Of the many challenges facing humanity, nothing is more fundamental than securing healthy food and water for all. Life itself would not be possible without nutrients, energy and water – but for many people across the United States, that essential fuel is compromised. “Right now, the average American diet quality has a failing grade,” said Lorrene Ritchie, University of California Cooperative...

  • Food pantries like this one at UC San Francisco supplement student food access. Extra requirements for college students to qualify for SNAP or CalFresh deter many from receiving the food beneftis.
    College students eligible for food assistance deterred by confusing requirements

    Modifying Farm Bill could reduce barriers to SNAP for students and improve nutrition Inadequate access to food can harm college students' health and academic performance. A recent University of California research study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior investigated why UC students who are eligible for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – the nation's largest food assistance program – do not receive the benefit. “Based on our study findings, eliminating the extra...

  • CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE Alameda gets residents of South County Homeless Project involved in growing their own food.
    Homeless people cultivate food, better health while gardening in Alameda County

    Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthful diet, but it's hard to keep perishable foods on hand if one doesn't have a refrigerator or a home. To enhance the health of homeless people, the CalFresh Healthy Living, UC Cooperative Extension team in Alameda County has partnered with the South County Homeless Project to grow fresh produce for people staying at the emergency housing in Hayward. For the past seven years, CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE Alameda has been delivering nutrition lessons to residents of the South County...

  • Eight Evergreen Middle School sixth graders presented their findings and recommendations on physical activity upgrades to their local school board. Photo courtesy of CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE Shasta Cluster
    Sixth graders advocate for physical activity upgrades at school

    Tehama County students empowered by CalFresh Healthy Living, UCCE educator and teachers It's not uncommon for high school or college students to speak up and seek to improve their school environment. But at Evergreen Middle School in Tehama County, more than 100 sixth graders led the way to create healthy changes at their school. As part of their health classes during the 2022-23 school year, the students researched the availability of spaces for physical activity, developed a survey gauging their peers' health awareness and needs,...