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Detail on Key Areas

  • Food Literacy and Healthy Lifestyles. Estimates suggest that nutrition and lifestyle-related conditions are responsible for 75% of all health care costs and threaten quality of life, function and emotional well-being. The opportunities for effective interventions are extensive, building on and expanding our existing capacity to comprehensively address the issues for individuals and families at the behavioral, organizational, community, and policy levels in partnership with government, non-profit, and private stakeholders. Food literacy informs food choices that take into account a wide range of factors, from personal health, to environmental impacts, to economic arrangements and food access. Food literacy is composed of a collection of inter-related knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to plan, manage, select, prepare and eat food that increase overall resilience and is founded on evidence-based recommendations for healthy diets for individuals throughout the lifecycle. Food security, chronic disease prevention and management, food safety, family resource management and family resiliency outcomes and impacts will be evaluated through individual, organizational, and community surveys and documentation of policies implemented.
  • Scientific Literacy (youth and adult) Science achievement in the United States among K-12 youth has lagged behind many of their grade level peers from other countries for many years, prompting much concern, and putting nation’s economic and national security at risk. K-12 students who score below basic levels will lack the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for scientific careers and full participation in today’s knowledge society. Nonformal education strategies and approaches, for which ANR is recognized, especially the 4-H Youth Development Program and its 4-H SET Initiative, provide innovative out-of-school models, curricula, deliveries, and professional development for effectively engaging youth in self-directed learning and discovery.
  • Positive youth developmentWe know that far too many California youth currently fail to reach their full potential. Each year, approximately 80,000 California youth do not graduate high school and approximately one of every six 16-24 year olds in the state is out of school and out of work. Cooperative Extension’s county-based 4-H YD programs across the state are at the cutting edge of positive youth development knowledge and practice. They serve large numbers of youth, helping prepare them for college, work, and life.
  • Community Development and Public Policy - Over the past three decades, public and private organizations throughout the state have fostered the creation of cross-sectoral food policy councils in order to address inadequacies and gaps in food policy and planning. Currently, food and food policies are shaped by a disparate array of government departments and agencies with little if any coordination or recognition of the linkages between food-related sectors. Too often the resulting policies seek to solve specific food-related problems in narrow, conflicting, and ineffective ways (Fox 2010). ANR will determine the current and potential future effectiveness of California food policy councils (FPCs) in leveraging agricultural, food and nutrition research to food policy; and second, to cultivate a dialog between researchers and food policy councils to improve the ways in which research and policy are informed by one another.    

Download an executive summary of the Healthy Families & Communities Strategic Plan

Download the complete HFC Strategic Plan Update 12 _12_ 2016