BERKELEY, Calif. -

University of California President Janet Napolitano wants to leverage the state's role in agriculture and research to tackle one of the world's most pressing problems: food.

The former Homeland Security secretary is unveiling an initiative Tuesday to deepen the university's commitment to eradicating hunger and improving nutrition at home and abroad.

Napolitano is scheduled to announce the system-wide project at a Berkeley middle school where she will be joined by chef Alice Waters.

She says the idea for the Global Food Initiative surfaced while she was dining with UC's 10 campus chancellors at Waters' Chez Panisse restaurant.

Napolitano says the venture will include everything from bringing scientists together to look at how crops can be protected amid climate change to having local farmers furnish the food sold on campuses.