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UC CalFresh Youth Engagement Initiative

Launched in FFY16, the UC CalFresh Youth Engagement Initiative is exploring innovative strategies to shift from serving youth to engaging youth in nutrition and physical activity.

County projects aligned with this mission seek to empower young people from vulnerable communities to lead efforts to improve the environments where they live, play, and learn. Utilizing a variety of youth engagement approaches, the goal of this collective effort is to develop young people's leadership abilities, sense of self-efficacy, civic engagement, and college and career readiness while also building their capacity to contribute to policy, systems and environmental (PSE) changes.

The motivation for creating the initiative arose out of an appreciation for core youth development principles, as well as SNAP-Ed's requirement that states implement PSE change efforts - like multi-level interventions and community and public health approaches - in addition to providing direct nutrition education (SNAP-Ed Plan Guidance FFY 2018). UC CalFresh recognizes the potential impact it could have if it authentically engages with even a fraction of the thousands of youth it serves across the state. UC CalFresh also recognizes that youth impacted by PSE changes should be involved in identifying, planning and evaluating the intervention strategies themselves.

Contact us

If you are interested in the UC CalFresh Youth Engagement Initiative or any of these materials, please direct your inquiries to the following people:

Public Health Institute Center for Wellness and Nutrition


UC Davis Center for Regional Change


California 4-H


Background Information and Resources