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Child Feeding Programs Activity 2013
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 26 participating sites that distributes backpacks filled with food items weekly to 816 children in Hinds, Warren, Forrest, Lamar, Madison, 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 1,100 children 5 days a week during the school year through ten Boys & Girls Clubs and six 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 2013 to five sites in five counties, Bolivar, Warren, Washington, and Forrest that served 16,845 meals to 585 children during the summer long program. 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 2013 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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