Our Public Impact Initiative

Now more than ever before, Americans recognize the importance of nutrition. The food industry and the media are shifting to keep up with rapidly changing taste preferences and demand for healthier options. It is time for policymakers to make pace with growing concern for diet-related disease and make changes to federal food programs in line with the public interest. The window for meaningful change is opening, and the time for action is now.

Born from the Friedman School Strategic Plan in 2016, the Public Impact Initiative seeks to translate science into action, bringing cutting-edge, actionable policy evidence, strategies, and interventions to policymakers and other relevant stakeholders to help address the nutrition crisis.

Over the past year we've forged new relationships in Washington and connected with industry collaborators who inspire us. Together we've focused on a few key areas where we believe small changes can have the greatest impact. Our recommendations toward healthier, more effective US food and wellness policies are centered around healthcare reform, healthier SNAP, food and nutrition innovation, and worksite wellness. 

The event in Washington included a briefing and panel discussion about the social and fiscal repercussions of poor nutrition.

Food Is Medicine: Working Toward Healthier Policies

This year, the Friedman School entered into a fruitful collaboration with Congressional leaders, advocacy partners such as the Milken Institute and Partnership for a Healthier America, and other key stakeholders on a bipartisan Food is Medicine Initiative.

By forging new relationships that bridge the capabilities of both public and private sectors, we will continue to raise awareness of the tremendous impact of food on national well-being, share the remarkable advances in both science and technology that inform priorities, and provide trusted science on actionable and impactful solutions.

Communicating About The Farm Bill: Impacts and Opportunities

Reauthorized every five years, each new iteration of the Farm Bill may establish new programs, end old programs, and modify continuing programs related to how our food is grown, how our citizens are fed, and how our land is used. Food and agricultural policy can be exceedingly complex. This year, experts at the Friedman School came together to create a helpful infographic to bolster farm bill knowledge.

We undertook an extensive social media campaign to coincide with the first congressional actions around the 2018 Farm Bill. We believe that educating the public about these issues is more critical now than ever. Take a look at the end result below.