The California Department of Food and Agriculture's Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program provides grants to corner stores in disadvantaged neighborhoods to purchase energy-efficient refrigeration units for stocking California-grown fresh produce, nuts and minimally processed foods. Nutrition Policy Institute's (NPI) Marisa Tsai, Caroline Long, and Wendi Gosliner are evaluating this initiative. A new report shares findings from interviews with participating storeowners, describing their practices and opinions regarding stocking, pricing, wasting, and generally managing produce sales as well as their experiences with the grant program. This is the second in a series of reports on the Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program evaluation.
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Corner store owners share their experiences with the CDFA Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant ProgramFeb 18, 2021
California Department of Public Health's CalFresh Healthy Living program evaluation strategy presented at Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators 2021 conference
The Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) works in partnership with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and local health departments (LHDs) to evaluate CDPH's CalFresh Healthy Living (CFHL) program, which is known federally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education Program (SNAP-Ed). Over 60 LHDs in California partner with CDPH to operate the CHFL program in ways that are consistent with state and federal guidance but responsive to local context. This non-standardized approach coupled with the size and scope of CDPH-CFHL present challenges for evaluation. Gail Woodward-Lopez, an NPI researcher, presented an overview of the CDPH-CFHL evaluation model and how the interrelated components work together to create a comprehensive nimble approach to evaluation aligned with the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework. The presentation took place at the Association of SNAP Nutrition Education Administrators (ASNNA) 2021 virtual conference. Woodward-Lopez presented on the development of intervention dose scores for assessing CFHL-CDPH statewide outcomes. Evaluation results using dose scores show significant associations between CDPH-CFHL school-site intervention exposure (or dose) with student aerobic fitness and student fruit and vegetable consumption. In the presentation, Woodward-Lopez also demonstrated how the CDPH-CFHL evaluation approach allowed NPI to make adaptations to capture the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and state nutrition legislation.
Call for proposals for the Biomigrations: Food Justice, Security, and Sovereignty in the Americas conference, April 2-3, 2021
The Berkeley Food Institute (BFI) Graduate Student Council is inviting graduate student scholars, community members, and artists to submit proposal abstracts of speeches, scholarly papers, or in-progress film/mixed media works to discuss at their first annual Food Systems Conference, titled “ Biomigrations: Food Sovereignty, Security, and Justice in the Americas”. Biomigrations, as BFI graduate student fellow Jesus Nazario generally defines it, is a way to reconsider notions of Life and Movement. It is a way to explore one's community, self, and spirit(s) through Indigenous rooting, refusal, and violence. Biomigrations is premised on the idea that humans need to know where they have come from (Indigenous rooting), how they have arrived at such becoming (refusal), and how they are enacting structural pain(s) to humans and non-humans through their Being (violence). Example topics include, but are not limited to: traditional ecological knowledge, community food systems, land rematriation, food and nutrition policy, cooperatives, agroecology, feminist food justice, biotechnology, transnational foodways, sustainable development, undocumented farmworker labor, non-human centered research, food recovery, and regenerative agriculture. The virtual conference will take place on April 2-3, 2021, and is free to all participants and attendees The deadline for proposal abstract submissions is Sunday, February 21, 2021 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time).
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation supports NPI and National WIC Association to explore WIC program adaptations during COVID-19
Nutrition Policy Institute's (NPI) Lorrene Ritchie was awarded $50,000 from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to examine participant perceptions and satisfaction with the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project will survey over 6,000 participants in WIC in 11 U.S. states and one tribal organization about their experiences with WIC during the pandemic. The project aims to support efforts to increase participation and retention on WIC by identifying promising practices adopted during the pandemic. Collaborators include the National WIC Association, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Public Health Foundation Enterprise WIC, Pepperdine University, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, California WIC Association, Nourish California, Vermont WIC, and Wisconsin WIC. The one-year project begins February 1, 2021 with NPI researcher Danielle Lee as the project manager.
San Francisco Chronicle op-ed by NPI's Wendi Gosliner advocates for increased access to mental health services in schools as they reopen"The U.S. pandemic mitigation strategies have profoundly disrupted young people's education, daily life, health, and well-being. During 2020, the number of young people visiting emergency rooms for mental health-related issues rose by over 30%." In an opinion piece published by the San Francisco Chronicle, public health researchers advocate for increased access to mental health services in schools as schools across the nation prepare to reopen. The researchers also call for Congress to adopt a 'Kids First' stimulus and recovery policy to fund new educational solutions to address structural inequities in learning and encourage schools to adopt Communities in School models to support students in rebuilding their social skills after being out of school due to the pandemic. The article, "As we return to school, we must also invest in social learning" was published on February 2, 2021 and authored by Wendi Gosliner of the University of California (UC) Nutrition Policy Institute, along with research colleagues Lia Fernald and Julianna Deardorff of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and Ahna Suleiman of the Sacramento State Department of Public Health.
Approximately 2 of every 3 children in the US spend time in child care settings where they consume much of their daily nutrition. Improving the foods and beverages offered in child care settings is a known childhood obesity prevention strategy. Researchers at the Nutrition Policy Institute published a new study suggesting family child care home providers can successfully implement nutrition standards for infants and young children after completing a brief educational intervention. Family child care homes are of particular interest for obesity prevention efforts given few nutrition standards exist in California's childcare licensing regulations for these providers, and limited studies have been conducted in these settings. The pilot study included 30 licensed family child care home providers in California who spoke English or Spanish. Providers were enrolled to participate in a 2-hour in-person training on food and beverage standards and feeding practices for both infants and children in English or Spanish in 2017. Providers' adherence to the infant and child nutrition standards increased after the training, and few providers rated the standards as difficult to implement. The training was highly rated by providers. The study was published in January 2021 in the journal Global Pediatric Health. Study results are also available online in the form of a research brief. Co-authors include Lorrene Ritchie, Danielle Lee, and Klara Gurzo of the Nutrition Policy Institute, Victoria Keeton and Abbey Alkon of the UCSF School of Nursing and California Childcare Health Program, Lauren Au of the UC Davis Department of Nutrition, and Elyse Homel Vitale of the Child Care Food Program Roundtable, previously with Nourish California at the time the study was conducted. The study was funded by a grant from the David & Lucille Packard Foundation.
New guide on disaster response and preparation for the UC ANR community highlights NPI COVID-19 response efforts
The scale and pace of disasters impacting communities across California is increasing, in part due to human-caused climate change. The University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) received funding from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture for a project called ‘Disasters Happen' to catalog disaster resources available across UC ANR programs and initiatives. One outcome of this project is a new guide for the UC ANR community called Disasters Happen, We Can and Will Be Prepared: Disaster Preparation and Response Guide for the UC ANR Community. The guide was made available online in January 2021 on the UC ANR Disasters Happen project website. The guide provides information on the increasing need for disaster preparedness, the importance of preparing for disasters ahead of time, UC ANR's involvement in disaster readiness, response and recovery, relevant organizations, disaster resources within UC ANR, disaster preparedness requirements for UC ANR, and more. The guide also features a case-study of how the Nutrition Policy Institute (NPI) rapidly adjusted existing projects and joined forces with partners to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic to support food security for low-income families and children.
New research brief shares what Los Angeles County WIC participants are saying about WIC during COVID
The USDA granted states multiple operational waivers to continue to deliver the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) services during the COVID-19 pandemic and these waivers have enabled our ability to serve participants remotely. With funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Nutrition Policy Institute and Public Health Foundation Enterprise WIC gathered information from WIC participants about their experiences with WIC during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first brief based on information gathered from WIC participants in Los Angeles County is now available online, with more to come soon from interviews with participants and local agency staff from across California in the months to come.
The University of California, Davis' World Food Center will co-host the virtual student summit 2021 of Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH) alongside the University of California Global Food Initiative and the Nutrition Policy Institute, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources in partnership with the Hunger Solutions Institute at Auburn University. The summit's theme is One Health. One Planet., and it will take place on March 25 and 26, 2021.
The Summit 2021 will be the 16th held by UFWH, but is the first to be hosted by the University of California and on the west coast. With a focus on involving students, the virtual summit will consist of keynote speeches, presentations, and panel discussions from experts across the United States who will speak to a broad array of topics covering human health, the planet, and their inherent connectivity.
The goal of the summit is to bring together current and future leaders to see a world without hunger. Students, administrators, faculty, staff, and community partners will network and share ideas that lead to actions and impact at the campus, community, and global levels.
UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May will give the summit's opening remarks and UC President Michael Drake will share his thoughts on the power of student voices to affect change. Keynote speakers include:
- William Dietz, Director of Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at George Washington University
- Dr. Rattan Lal, winner of the 2020 World Food Prize for developing and mainstreaming a soil-centric approach to increasing food production that restores and conserves natural resources and mitigates climate change
- Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University's Earth Institute
Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH) is a global higher education movement focused on educating, mobilizing and organizing students, faculty and administrators in the war against hunger. In 2004, Auburn University accepted an invitation to partner with the United Nations World Food Programme in the fight against hunger, one of the world's most pressing global issues. Inspired by this partnership, Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH) was launched in 2006. This coalition is now led by the Hunger Solutions Institute at Auburn University and has expanded to nearly 300 campuses worldwide.
Registration for the UFWH Summit 2021 opens Monday, January 11, 2021, and can be accessed here. The event is free of charge.
Water safety in California public schools following implementation of school drinking water policies
A new study, Water Safety in California Public Schools Following Implementation of School Drinking Water Policies, published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease in December 2020, provides findings from an investigation of drinking water safety in a random sample of 240 California schools. Fully 16% of study schools received water from a utility that was in violation of tap water safety standards at the time of analysis. Analysis of data collected through California's recently mandated program to test school drinking water for lead found that while only 3% of schools had at least one tap with a lead exceedance above the CA state action level of 15 ppb, 16% of schools had at least one tap that exceeded federal standards for bottled water (i.e., 5 ppb). Further, 27% of CA schools had not reported test results by 3.5 months after the deadline for compliance, and there was room for improvement in the implementation of the mandate. The paper concludes with policy and implementation recommendations. The study was conducted by researchers at Stanford University, University of California Nutrition Policy Institute, and Virginia Tech and funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research program.
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