The Danone Institute North America (DINA), a not-for-profit established by Danone North America, announced the five winning teams of the DINA Sustainable Food Systems Initiative—a grant program that promotes resilient and sustainable local food systems.
Each of the five teams from Harvard University, McGill University, Tufts University, University of Tennessee Knoxville, and University of Texas Austin will receive US$50,000 in grant funds to develop and execute their community-based projects.
These projects are focused on generating positive impact in five distinct communities in the United States and Canada: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Montreal, Quebec; Alameda County, California; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Austin, Texas. Selected from applicants across the United States and Canada, the 2023 grantees were awarded for their innovation and impact, and how they address evolving food challenges during times of food price inflation, climate change, and food insecurity.
First introduced in 2019 as the "One Planet. One Health" Initiative, the DINA Sustainable Food Systems Initiative grant program supports local projects that strengthen regional food systems and demonstrate a commitment to actionable and achievable projects that sit at the intersection of community, health of people and health of planet. The Institute and its seed funding is also a key component of Danone's larger commitments towards health through the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in September 2022.
"The social and economic effects of changes in the food environment have magnified the fragility and inequity in our food systems, and the 2023 grantees are building community-based programs that can mitigate the impacts on vulnerable communities," says Leslie Lytle, PhD, president of Danone Institute North America and adjunct professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and at the University of Minnesota. "We are inspired by their commitment to create a healthier world through food and look forward to helping them advance their programs in the two years ahead."
In addition to the grant funding, the five teams will participate in trainings and workshops with Danone Institute North America leaders and partners throughout the next two years to support the development and implementation of their projects. In October 2023, one team will also be awarded an additional US$10,000 for the strongest communications plan, as judged by the DINA Board.
The 2023 DINA Sustainable Food Systems Initiative grant winners and projects are:
La Cajita Mutua (The Collective Box): A Value-Centered Farm-to-Community Sustainable Food Project—Team Members: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Fundación de Investigación Science and Education, San Juan
Technology Solutions for Simulating and Stimulating Dietary Change—Team Member Organization: McGill University
A Recipe4Health in California: Modeling the planetary and human health impacts of a holistic, community-based 'Food as Medicine' program at scale—Team Member Organizations: Tufts University, Recipe4Health
Impact of an On-Campus Food Upcycling Program on Food Sustainability and Nutrition Security of College Students—Team Member Organization: University of Tennessee Knoxville)
Food is the Best Medicine—Team Member Organizations: University of Texas Austin; Ascension Texas; Cooks Nook Austin; Farmshare Austin