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The UC Merced Blum Center for Alleviating Poverty and Social Disparities

Chancellor Leland and Vice Chancellor Charles Nies visiting the SPROUTS farm

The Blum Center is a proud partner of campus food security leaders such as the Global Food Initiative, Sustainability and UC Merced Sprouts, a student-led organization which promotes environmental literacy in elementary schools through nutrition, gardening and sustainability lessons.

With the aim of advancing research and education to alleviate the burdens of poverty locally and globally, UC Regent Richard C. Blum began the Blum Center at his alma mater, UC Berkeley. Today, all 10 UC campuses are part of this initiative, each focused on different aspects of emerging economies.

The UC Merced Blum Center for Alleviating Poverty and Social Disparities was relaunched in 2017 with a focus on promoting access to healthy food on campus and among vulnerable populations across the region. With administrative support from the Health Sciences Research Institute, the Blum Center’s partnerships include the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) and the UC Global Food Initiative’s Basic Needs Workgroup.

Since its relaunch, the Center is working towards increasing faculty engagement, promoting research and conceiving a sustainability model. Current initiatives focus around three areas:

  • Awarding seed grants to faculty and graduate students. The initial round of six awardees was announced in May 2017. Funded projects will provide insights into food security among special populations, food environment perceptions among students, farm labor and union organizing, and irrigation water leak detection.
  • Supporting campus Global Food Initiative efforts that promote food security. The Blum Center is striving to facilitate and strengthen collaborations by working with Dining, Sustainability, CropMobster, and other key partners, and providing resources such as student support.
  • Policy outreach to regional health care and education stakeholders.

Read more on the Blum Center website or follow Blum on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.