CSU, Chico News

University Employees Receive Statewide CalFresh Awards

Date: 02-21-2014

Cindy Wolff, Program Director
Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion
Jenny Breed, CalFresh Outreach Director
Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion

Two staff members from California State University, Chico’s Center for Nutrition and Activity Program (CNAP) received top honors at this year’s CalFresh Forum, held Feb.18 in Sacramento.

CNAP’s CalFresh Outreach Director Jenny Breed and Community Nutrition Assistant Natasha Paz both won CalFresh Outreach “Freshy” Awards in the Innovative Outreach Leader category. The annual awards honor individuals and organizations working to improve CalFresh, a statewide program aimed at improving access to healthy and nutritious food for low-income families. Formerly known as food stamps, the CalFresh program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

As outreach director for CalFresh, Breed oversees one of seven primary CalFresh Outreach regions in the state. She works to develop new strategies to improve access to healthy foods, broaden the public’s knowledge of the CalFresh program and address food insecurity. In her position, she partners with the community, works collaboratively with multiple departments at the University and inspires and supports her student staff.

As community nutrition assistant, Paz works to increase CalFresh participation by actively problem-solving with potentially eligible individuals and increasing awareness of drop-in assist sites and other available resources. She also provides extra trainings for CalFresh teams to equip them with information and outreach resources, and she has increased outreach to older adults and recipients of food bank commodities.

Hosted annually by California Food Policy Advocates, the CalFresh Forum brings together hundreds of key stakeholders from across the state to discuss strategies and opportunities to improve the reach and impact of CalFresh. Due to the high number of nominees in the Innovative Outreach Leader category, this year two winners were honored at the event, held at the Tsokopoulos Library Galleria in downtown Sacramento.

CSU, Chico’s Center for Nutrition & Activity Promotion values and helps create healthy and livable communities. Its award-winning programs provide cutting-edge foundations in both science and practice to address obesity and obesity-related disease prevention. The center works closely with community agencies, public health departments, schools and farms to provide youth and adults with cooking classes and nutrition education, physical activity and garden-based learning activities. Service learning and civic engagement for students are also top priorities; each year CNAP typically employs 80 undergraduate and graduate students and provides unpaid internships to more than 120 students. Faculty researchers from CSU, Chico are also fully engaged at CNAP, publishing in peer-reviewed journals and presenting at state, national and international conferences.

For more information on CNAP’s programs and current projects, please visit www.csuchico.edu/cnap.