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Child Feeding Programs Activity 2011- 2012
The BackPack Program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children at times when other resources are not available, such as weekends and school vacations. Backpacks are filled with food that children take home and discreetly distributed on the last day before the weekend or holiday vacation.
Mississippi Food Network provides backpack meals to 11 participating sites that distributes backpacks filled with food items weekly to 571 children in Hinds, Warren, Forrest, Lamar, Rankin and Oktibbeha Counties.
AFTERSCHOOL �AT RISK� SNACK PROGRAM
Mississippi Food Network participates in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), in order to provide healthy snacks to children in afterschool programs in underserved communities. The program is administered by the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Child Nutrition. MFN provides snacks to approximately 760 children 5 days a week during the school year through seven Boys & Girls Clubs and four private non-profit organizations providing after-school programs that offer tutoring, homework help and enrichment activities to underprivileged children in their communities.
SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM (SFSP)
Mississippi Food Network began the Summer Food Service Program in 2008 with one site serving 100+ children breakfast and lunch for eight weeks. The program expanded in 2011 to six sites in four counties, Warren, Washington, Simpson and Forrest that served 16,268 meals to 466 children during the summer long program. Plans for 2012 are to expand to 8 sites in the current counties as well as Bolivar and Noxubee Counties. Enrichment activities, which included nutrition education, were provided at the sites in an effort to increase participation.
Mississippi Food Network also offers nutrition education to children participating in the programs and Senior citizens participating in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). Using the Organ Wise curriculum for children, interns from the University of Southern Mississippi Dietetic Intern Program and MFN's Registered Dietician, programs and food demonstrations are provided in order to teach people about healthy food choices, healthy snacks and exercise. In 2011 nutrition education was also provided to agencies participating in MFN's Community Garden Project (funded by Blue Cross Blue Shield of MS Foundation). Topics included recipes and ideas on preparing fresh produce, cooking demonstrations and canning classes.
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