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Our Impact

NPI research has contributed to numerous program and policy wins:

Chips, Soda and Profits in Schools

NPI showed that schools would not lose money if they stopped selling chips and soda. California became the first state to pass legislation (a,b) prohibiting sales of these foods in schools. This law improves the nutrition of over 6 million children in California every year.

Cooking School Meals – Can We Afford Them?

NPI demonstrated that cooking from scratch in school kitchens doesn’t cost more than selling pre-packaged foods, and that kids prefer freshly prepared meals. This has contributed to the USDA funding $30 million for school kitchen equipment in fiscal year 2018 alone.

Healthy Women, Infants and Children

NPI research (c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j,k,l) showed some of the health benefits of providing healthier foods in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Over 1 million women and children receive WIC benefits annually in California – reaching over half of all infants born in the state and one-quarter of children between the ages of 1 and 5 years old.

Healthy Beverages in Child Care and the Law

NPI provided the evidence to pass California’s Healthy Beverages in Childcare law, which is among the most comprehensive child care beverage policies in the nation. Nearly 2 million preschoolers in the state now get only lower fat milk, a limited amount of 100% fruit juice, no sugar-sweetened beverages, and free, safe drinking water while in child care.


Safe Tap Water in California Child Care Centers

NPI assisted with language for bill amendments and provided expert testimony at hearings for AB2370, authored by Assembly Members Holden and Gonzalez Fletcher, to require testing for lead in tap water used for drinking and cooking in all California licensed child care centers. The bill was signed into law in September 2018.


Making Food Pantries Healthier

NPI research showed that clients at food pantries would rather get healthy foods instead of chips, candies and soda. As of 2018 over 1,800 food bank staff have taken NPI’s online training to improve food bank nutrition policies leading to healthier foods and beverages distributed by California food banks and pantries to more than 4.5 million food insecure people in 2016 alone.

Improving Student Food Security on UC Campuses

NPI research (m,n,o,p) led to the creation of action plans for all 10 UC campuses to combat food insecurity to improve the academic success of over 100,000 students.

Food Waste – Let’s Stop It

As part of ANR’s public value of safeguarding healthy and abundant food, NPI led the first California Food Waste Prevention Week in 2017 to raise awareness about food waste, a campaign which received more than 54 million online unique page views.

Improving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-ED)

NPI collaborated with Kansas State University to develop and publicize a nationwide on-line system to monitor policy, systems and environmental changes made with SNAP-Ed funding to improve the reach and strength of the support for healthy eating and active living. 

NPI's evidence reviews, technical assistance and evaluation results informed the restructuring of the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) CalFresh Healthy Living (CFHL) in California toward a focus on more evidence-based approaches and settings, such as schools, where the impacts are the greatest. In 2018, CDPH CFHL delivered nutrition education to nearly a half a million low-income Californians, increased access to healthy food and physical activity for over 2 million and reached millions more through media and community events.

NPI research showed that the CDPH’s CalFresh Healthy Living support for physical activity programs and policies in low-income schools resulted in more fit students than those that didn’t receive the support. 

NPI’s findings from CalFresh focus group interviews are being used by the California Food Policy Advocates to support California Senate Bill 285, to improve access to CalFresh.


Download a copy of NPI's Impact. 



Water, Childcare



Image Credit: USDA FNS WIC


18509_lores_CDC_Amanda Mills

Image Credit: CDC/Amanda Mills