NPI’s research on the charitable food system has focused on the nutrition quality of charitable foods acquired and distributed by food banks. We have studied the culture, policies, and practices of food banks, and the trends in the nutrition quality of food bank inventory in recent years. The goal of improving the nutrition quality of charitable foods is to make at least a partial contribution to a more healthful food supply for food insecure households, many of which rely on charitable foods to meet their food shortfalls each month.
NPI worked with 21 food banks across the US on the development of nutrition policies, and conducted qualitative research on the challenges with the process of developing and implementing such policies. This body of research led NPI to scale up and extend the training and technical assistance for food banks, through the development of a free online course on Developing a Food Bank Nutrition Policy.
In 2014, President Napolitano launched the UC Global Food Initiative to address food and sustainability issues. One project of the Initiative is to examine food insecurity on UC campuses and to be a resource to other universities working on the issue. In spring of 2015, NPI conducted the first study of food insecurity among a sample of students from all 10 UC campuses. If you would like to know more about assessing food insecurity at your university or college campus, please contact Dr. Suzanna Martinez at firstname.lastname@example.org.