UC Global Food Initiative

UCSC Global Food Initiative Logo

President Janet Napolitano launched the UC Global Food Initiative in July 2014, which focuses on harnessing UC resources to address one of the critical issues of our time: how to sustainably and nutritiously feed a world population expected to reach eight billion by 2025. Since then students, staff, faculty, and community members have been working collectively to address the issues of student hunger and food insecurity on our campuses.


  • Initiated in 2014 by UC President Janet Napolitano, the UC Global Food Initiative (GFI) is an effort to use the university system's expertise in research, education, and outreach to improve the food system on UC campuses, throughout the state and nation, and around the world.  GFI is addressing topics such as UC student food security, agroecological practices, and resource conservation, as well as encouraging hands-on agricultural education and increasing the amount of locally produced, organic food available to the UC community. Student fellowships are available for both undergraduate and graduate students (see below).
  • The Global Food Initiative work takes place through a number of subcommittees on which UCSC staff, faculty and students team with members of other UC campuses to pursue GFI’s goals. Subcommittee topics on which UCSC staff are working include student food security, agroecology research, experiential learning, and access to locally grown organic produce.
  • See more:
    • You can read more about the UC systemwide Global Food Initiative here and at the UC Office of the President site.
    • More about the subcommittee’s that UCSC staff, faculty, and students are involved in here.


At UCSC, students, staff, and faculty are involved with a number of GFI subcommittees including food access & security, experiential learning, research catalogue, and farmers' markets and community supported agriculture. Read more about the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture (CASFS) farm to college efforts, as well as more information on GFI subcommittees and research.

Student Fellowships through GFI

The Global Food Initiative offers a student fellowship program for undergraduates and graduate students to work on research projects or internships related to the initiative. 

Meet the 2019-2020 GFI Fellowship recipients

Meet the 2016-2017 GFI Fellowship recipients

This music video was created by UCSC students to highlight the work students, as well as faculty and staff, are doing towards improving food justice and healthy sustainable practices through student-led projects and experiential learning.

Working Group Materials 

Our 2017-18 Implementation and Budget Plan includes our general outcomes, items completed/in progress, new action items, measurement and evaluation methods, and campus leads. This upcoming year, we will continue supporting farm-to-pantry operations, programming, and student leadership, while building out an effective communications network.