Hai Vo co-founded the Real Food Challenge (RFC) at the University of California at Irvine (UCI) after he radically transformed his health by learning to eat nutritious food. RFC is a national organization with representatives from more than 300 colleges in the United States dedicated to reallocating the four billion dollars spent annually on food at universities to “real” food: food that is ecologically-sound, community-based, humane and fair. Implicit in their mission is the idea that this food supports the greater health of consumers, producers, local communities and the environment.
In order to educate and connect students, Hai co-organized events that brought students together to “simply eat,” and to discuss their understanding of food. The RFC at UCI has engaged over 500 campus and community members in leadership development, networking convergences, dinners, roundtable events, educational series, and online networks, all centered around sustainable food systems. The RFC has also worked with the University of California to develop a system-wide, institutional commitment to 20% real food procurement by the year 2020. Said Hai of his work: “I’m on a mission to understand the dynamic relationships between food and youth. How will we produce, consume, and sustain food in the generations in the come?”