Campus-based Food Literacy Program
Building on UCR’ s charge to create “Healthy Campus, Healthy Students, Healthy Communities,” UCR’ s cross-campus Global Food Initiative committee will implement in 2018 a campus based food literacy program that allows our student organization,” Highlander Chefs” to demonstrate best practices for preparing healthy low-cost meals, in partnership with the professional chefs and industrial kitchens of UCR’s Dining Services.
The Highlander Chefs, a UCR undergraduate-run organization, is dedicated to informing students on the accessibility of preparing healthy and affordable meals. Along with cooking demos, Highlander Chefs is also devoted to the improvement of the underserved population in the Inland Empire. Highlander Chefs holds food security to a high standard, which is why they collaborate with Dining Services and R’Pantry at UCR - with healthy, and accessible items, free, for low-income students - and organize cooking demonstration for students, with little to no expense.
The new food literacy program is focusing on creating a training curriculum that supports, trains, and develops the skills of the Highlander Chefs through engagement with the UCR chefs, wellness program specialist, scholars, and nutrition education coordinators. UCR nutrition programming is based on the Menus of Change Leadership Initiative. The adoption of evidence-based principles of health and sustainability from Seeds of Change/Menus of Change Leadership Initiative plays an important role in the development of the UCR Highlander Chefs program.
Food choices have a tremendous impact on both human health and the health of our planet. Chefs and food service leaders have the power to reshape American diet by assuming larger and more pivotal roles in integrating key imperatives of taste, health, the environment, community, business, and economics. In collaboration with UCR Dining Services we incorporated the Menus of Change principles throughout the Wedges Against Hunger in 2050 Conference menu to offer meals that are not only delicious, but also nutritious and healthy, environmentally sustainable as well as socially responsible and ethical.