NPI celebrates a decade of high-impact research

May 15, 2024

The Nutrition Policy Institute was established 10 years ago to address the growing nutrition problems in the U.S., where 1 in 6 families lack consistent access to food and more suffer from a nutrition-related chronic condition than do not. Our talented team remains steadfast in our vision to ensure access to nutritious food, beverages and opportunities for physical activity for all through conducting and translating policy-relevant research. To mark our 10-year anniversary, we'd like to share some of our key achievements.

  • School Meals for All - We have been dedicated to evaluating the impacts of every child, regardless of their background, having access to nutritious meals at school. Our efforts have helped to establish comprehensive school meal programs in our state. California became the first state in the nation to adopt school breakfast and lunch at no charge, providing access to better nutrition for over 6 million K-12 students annually.

  • Enhancements to the WIC Program - We have worked to improve the accessibility and effectiveness of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children which provides food and nutrition counseling for low income pregnant women and children.  By streamlining processes and expanding outreach, WIC services have improved. Over one million women and children receive WIC benefits annually in California – reaching nearly half of all children born in the state.
  • Farm to Corrections Program - One of our innovative initiatives, involving the Farm to Corrections Program, connects correctional facilities with local farms, thus promoting more fresh fruits and vegetables for incarcerated individuals while supporting local agriculture. Within the next 2 years, all 33 of California's adult facilities will be enrolled in the Farm to Corrections Program.

We couldn't have achieved all this without our dedicated team, collaborators and funders. Special thanks also go to our past and current students, whose passion for positive change fuels our work. To continue this legacy, we established the NPI Student Fellowship in 2019 to increase diversity in the public health nutrition workforce and to honor our founding co-director, Pat Crawford. As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we are pleased to announce a matching gift of up to $10,000 to support the NPI Student Fellowship. Any donation made between May and June 2024 will be doubled. A gift of any size will be appreciated and you can make your gift online. Your contribution will empower the next generation of nutrition research to policy leaders to continue our work toward healthier, more equitable communities. Read more about our impact over the last 10 years in this UC ANR news story—also available in Spanish—written by Mike Hsu. Watch this video in English or Spanish to learn about the history of the Fellowship and hear from students about their experiences.

By Danielle Lee
Author - Director of Communications & Research Engagement
By Lorrene D Ritchie
Editor - Director of the Nutrition Policy Institute and Cooperative Extension Nutrition Specialist