Center for Healthy Communities

The CHC Story

Once Known as CNAP

CSU, Chico's Center for Healthy Communities (CHC) is a leader in research-based nutrition, physical activity, and policy changes to support community health. It was known previously as the Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion (CNAP). The current name acknowledges the Center’s broader health focus.

Modest Beginnings

The Center began in 2001 with one health program. Today it has more than 30 programs providing services all over California, including the 12 counties of CSU, Chico’s service area.

Many Disciplines

The Center’s faculty and staff represent agriculture, business, child development, education, food safety, graphic design, health and community services, journalism, kinesiology, management information systems, nutrition, public administration, public relations and media, social work, and sociology.

Excellence in Education & Programs

The Center is recognized statewide and nationally for its faculty and staff achievements and its excellence in community health outreach.

The Center’s community programs promote food security, nutrition education, physical activity, food safety, and provide resources and training to thousands of California residents of all ages through:

  • CalFresh Outreach
  • Community health policy
  • Community services & classes
  • Evaluation and health program consulting
  • Farm to school programs
  • Food safety, including food safety programs for farmers
  • Public health staff trainings and services
  • Senior benefits enrollment assistance and other senior services

Research & Evaluation

Research guided by CHC faculty and staff is diverse and encompasses areas including agriculture, nutrition education, and public health. Our research program helps the Center maintain its cutting-edge focus and evidence-based program development.

Nationally Recognized Service Learning and Pre-Professional Training

The Center’s internship program for university students is a model for civic engagement and experiential education. Preliminary findings suggest that more than 95% of CHC student alumni achieve their employment/graduate school goals. The Center provides internships to more than 120 unpaid undergraduate and graduate students—in many different disciplines—and paid student employment to an average of 40 students each year.

CHC team member holding healthy snacks sample