Global food issues will become integrated into more of the curriculum within the University of California system as part of a larger global food initiative.

University of California President Janet Napolitano presented her ideas July 1 to the California State Board of Food and Agriculture.

The UC Global Food Initiative is intended to marshal the university’s resources — including curriculum and world-class research, student efforts and operational efforts in place across the university’s 10 campuses — to address global challenges related to food.

“This initiative grows out of a commitment made by all 10 UC campus chancellors and myself,” Napolitano said. “It is a commitment to work collectively to put a greater emphasis on what UC can do as a public research university, in one of the most robust agricultural regions in the world, to take on one of the world’s most pressing issues.”

Emphasizing student engagement, Napolitano announced the funding of three $2,500 President’s Global Food Initiative Student Fellowships to be awarded on each campus to undergraduate or graduate students. The fellowships will fund student research projects or internships.

Internally, campuses will heighten their collective purchasing power and dining practices to encourage sustainable farming practices, and model healthy eating and zero food waste; food pantries and farmers markets that exist on some campuses will be spread to all 10. Partnerships with K-12 school districts to enhance leveraging procurement for these purposes also will be explored.