Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 74.33
Liaison Austin Eriksson
Submission Date Dec. 10, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California State University, Northridge
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Sarah Johnson
Sustainability Program Analyst
Institute for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Champions for Change: Healthy Community Initiative

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus?:
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above:

“Champions for Change: Healthy Community Initiative” program is a formal partnership between the CSUN Marilyn Magaram Center for Food, Nutrition, and Dietetics, the CSUN Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing, and the community of Canoga Park.

The program is federally funded by SNAP-Ed (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), formally known as the food stamps program and is called “CalFresh” in California. CalFresh offers low-income individuals assistance to purchase food using an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card that is acceptable at most grocery stores and several farmer’s markets. SNAP-Ed is a federally funded grant that supports evidence-based nutrition education prevention interventions for SNAP eligible individuals.

The initiative is funded with an $880,000 grant from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to reduce obesity rates among low-income populations in Canoga Park that receive SNAP-Education benefits. The grant aims to reduce obesity by providing nutrition education, promoting physical activity and working to create healthier environments for low-income individuals and families where they live, learn, work, play, pray and shop.

The program brings nutrition and gardening education to the community of Canoga Park which has been identified to have high rates of childhood obesity and in need of education and access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Initiative organizers also are working with a community food pantry and the CSUN food pantry to procure fresh fruits and vegetables and provide food insecure community members and CSUN students with nutrition education.

CSUN students have conducted classes on developing healthy eating habits and cooking practices, helped establish community gardens, and attended weekly farmers market to distribute health information, including recipes for turning the produce being sold at the market into healthy, affordable family meals that respect cultural sensibilities.

A task force made up of university personnel and community members has been created to ensure that the initiative is responding to the needs of the Canoga Park community.

From October 2016 through December 14, 2018, the following has been implemented:
Classes: 594
Number of participants reached: 72,005
Sites: 13
Garden Built: 12

https://www.csun.edu/marilyn-magaram-center/champions-change


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
Annual Orange Pick Donations in Partnership with Food Forward

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
The partnership simultaneously supports social equity and wellbeing, economic prosperity, and ecological health

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (2nd partnership) (Yes, No, or Not Sure):
Not Sure

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (2nd partnership):

The CSUN Institute for Sustainability has a partnership with Food Forward, a non-profit that fights hunger and prevents food waste by gleaning fresh surplus produce and connecting this abundance with people in need. The Institute coordinates two orange picks per year in the 400 tree campus orange grove with Food Forward. We also provide outreach for the program and volunteers for picks. CSUN student volunteers, athletes, and student groups have been actively involved in harvests. This partnership started in 2009 and is ongoing. Since 2009, we have harvested over 148,000 pounds of oranges and donated them to people in need.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
LA Department of Water and Power

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Short-term project or event

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (3rd partnership):
The partnership supports at least one, but not all three, dimensions of sustainability

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners in strategic planning, decision-making, implementation and review? (3rd partnership) (Yes, No, or Unknown):
Not Sure

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability, including website URL (if available) and information to support each affirmative response above (3rd partnership):

During the 2017-2018 academic year, CSUN’s Institute for Sustainability received a Community Partnership grant from LADWP to host sustainability weeks with 5th graders in elementary schools throughout the northeast San Fernando Valley.

Teachers attended a workshop on sustainability and energy conservation, with curriculum for their classes. Each teacher had their students calculate which light bulbs in their home used the most energy based on both bulb wattage and number of hours in use. Then students brought in their heaviest energy-use bulbs to exchange them for free highly efficient LED bulbs. According to the students’ calculations, the bulbs exchanged will save 9015 kWh of electricity during the next year – the equivalent of 16,444 fewer miles driven in carbon emissions. That’s also an average of about $37 worth of electricity saved each year for each student and their family.

An assembly was held for the fifth graders which focused on energy and water conservation and featured CSUN students dressed as a light bulb and a water drop. They also examined pollution from the nearby Valley Generating Station, a natural gas power plant near the school. Lastly, they engaged with parents, working to get the word out about energy- and water-saving rebates available from LADWP.

During the 2016-2-17 academic year, the Institute received a Community Partnership grant to train K-12 teachers on integrating sustainability-based curriculum in their classrooms. Workshops focused on water and energy curriculum using problem-based learning. Teachers learned hands-on exercises using kill-a-watt meters to test the electrical usage of different appliances and experimented with Snap Circuit kits using alternative energy sources to light up an LED bulb.

All curriculum being taught meets Next Generation Science Standards and is grade level specific. We worked with 36 teachers from 18 schools across Los Angeles to increase sustainability knowledge in grade school students and their families. Teachers also took their classes on field trips to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Discovery Cube Los Angeles, and the LA CleanTech Incubator to further engage their students. At the end of the school year, the Institute hosted a culminating event at CSUN to showcase all of the student projects and recognize their efforts.


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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