UOG program awarded $597K toward child nutrition, food security efforts
The University of Guam Cooperative Extension & Outreach will receive $597,267 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food & Agriculture to work toward increasing food and nutrition security and healthy diets among children.
The grant is being provided under the Food System Resiliency for Children’s Healthy Living program, or CHL Food Systems. The first phase of the program, which resulted in a decrease in young child obesity in the Pacific region, was known as the Children’s Healthy Living Program.
The University of Hawaiʻi is taking the lead for the Pacific region, and UOG is implementing the program in Guam.
Over the next five years, the program will create a model of the local food supply chain. This model can then provide guidance toward decreasing food waste and improving food and nutrition security, dietary patterns, and health among children.
“The CHL Food Systems grant is timely with the recent rise in food costs and new environmental and post-pandemic challenges that influence food access and availability for children and families,” said Dr. Tanisha F. Aflague, a registered dietitian nutritionist and UOG extension faculty who leads the program locally.
The grant will also guide the nutrition education programs offered to the community under UOG Cooperative Extension & Outreach.
“Long term, we aim to help prevent chronic disease in households and communities across the U.S.-affiliated Pacific insular area,” said principal investigator Dr. Rachel Novotny, nutrition faculty at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, in part.
Another objective of the program is to train a next generation of food and nutrition resiliency professionals in the U.S.-affiliated Pacific.
Kristi Hammond, a St. John’s School and UOG alumna with a master’s in sustainable agriculture, food, and natural resources, and Hannah Shai, who holds a Master of Public Health in nutrition, were the Guam and Northern Mariana Islands selectees, respectively, for the CHL Food Systems graduate assistantship.
The program is funding their completion of a Ph.D. in nutritional sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
“Numerous individuals and organizations in Guam are working toward creating a healthier, more resilient food system, and I hope to contribute to these ongoing efforts,” Hammond said.
Learn more about CHL at www.chl-pacific.org.
For more information about the program, contact:
Tanisha F. Aflague, Ph.D., RDN
Guam Lead Investigator, CHL Food Systems
Cooperative Extension & Outreach
University of Guam
Tel: (671) 735-2026
Guam Project Manager, CHL Food Systems