Healthy Options & Food Security| Believe in Better

Healthy Options and Food Security

UC Davis Executive Chef Santana Diaz at a local farm

From having access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables to supporting the region’s farmers, UC Davis Health is committed to farm-to-fork initiatives that improve food security and access to healthy, locally sourced options.

Some examples of our efforts:

employees with fresh produce
Healthy Options, Food Literacy

Spotlight: ‘Farm to hospital’

UC Davis Health strives to become a model for other health care facilities. The medical center is home to one of Sacramento’s largest production kitchens and creator of 6,500 meals a day. In 2017, we began locally sourcing whole-food and plant-based ingredients. The goal: To source the majority of food within a 250-mile radius of the hospital. 

child with apple
Food Literacy

Spotlight: Supporting food literacy education

Our chefs team up with the Food Literacy Center to teach cooking and nutrition in low-income schools, among kids who are at highest risk for diet-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes.

Farmworker Health

Spotlight: Programs for ag workers

UC Davis Health and UC Davis are home to or involved in a number of projects supporting farmworker health. Some examples:

  • Activate, a demonstration project using digital health to improve well-being of underserved and rural communities, in partnership with community health centers
  • MOVE IT UP, a project to increase access to COVID vaccines, testing and treatment for historically underserved communities, with a focus on Latinos and Latino farmworkers
  • The Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, founded to improve health and safety of agricultural workers through research, training, and outreach
food bank operations
Food Security

Spotlight: Supporting food banks

UC Davis Health partners with local organizations to support grocery programs throughout our community. The health system has provided support for the River City Food Bank and several other local community-based organizations, assisting hundreds of families.

For example, River City served an average of 1,573 households per week in 2023, including emergency food distribution from locations in Midtown and Arden. The Arden location, which is funded by UC Davis Health, served an average of 733 households per week.

farmer's market stall
Healthy Options

Spotlight: Supporting farmer’s markets

UC Davis Health has been a supporter of the Oak Park Farmer’s Market. During the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, we also hosted COVID-19 vaccine pop-up clinics to provide vaccinations and health education.

More Believe in Better Highlights

Some recent examples of our ongoing efforts to advance health for all.

California cancer patients now have greater access to life-saving biomarker testing

A new law backed by the University of California gives cancer patients access to biomarker testing so targeted therapies can be used to fight their cancer.

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New at-home monitoring program for patients with high blood pressure

UC Davis Health and Best Buy Health have established a new remote patient monitoring program for patients with high blood pressure.

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$5.6 million for precision-medicine program aimed at treating and preventing disease

A $5.6 million NIH award will allow continued engagement and enrollment for the All of Us Research Program and the Nutrition for Precision Health study.

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MIND Institute café now open, serving coffee, tea and baked goods

Four years after closing due to the pandemic, the MIND Institute café has reopened. Purple Tree, a nonprofit which employs people with disabilities, offers beverages and baked goods.

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