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 are discreetly distributed on the last day before the weekend or
holiday vacation. Mississippi Food Network provided backpack meals to eight participating sites
that distributed backpacks filled with food items weekly to 338 children in Hinds, Warren, Forrest,
Copiah and Lowndes Counties.
AFTERSCHOOL “AT RISK” SNACK PROGRAM
Mississippi Food Network participated 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. Mississippi Food Network provided
snacks to approximately 760 children five days a week during the 2010-2011 school year through eight
Boys & Girls Clubs and four private non-profit organizations. These organizations provided after-school
programs that offer tutoring, homework help and enrichment
activities to underprivileged children in their communities.
SUMMER FOOD SERVICE PROGRAM (SFSP)
In 2008, Mississippi Food Network began the Summer Food Service Program 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. These sites served 16,268 meals to 466
children during the summer 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 child feeding 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 Mississippi Food Network’s Registered Dietician, provide programs and food demonstrations to teach people about healthy food choices, healthy snacks and exercise. In 2011 nutrition education was also provided to agencies participating in Mississippi Food Network’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.
2010 HUNGER’S HERO AWARD
Congratulations to the Walmart Stores, Mississippi Region, for being selected as the 2010 Hunger’s
Hero for Mississippi Food Network. Each year Mississippi Food Network awards the Hunger’s Hero
Award to an organization and/or individual in recognition of their leadership in the Network’s effort
to alleviate hunger in our State. The Hunger’s Hero Award is the highest honor the Mississippi Food Network can bestow in our fight against hunger. In addition, to the food donated each week, many of the Walmart employees donate their time each month on our Volunteer Saturday. We also received two significant grants
from the Walmart Foundation this year because of their commitment to our organization. Thank you to the Team Members of the Walmart Stores, Mississippi Region, for all you do to help support Mississippi Food Network.
In September 2010, Mississippi Food Network launched our SNAP Outreach Pilot Program with more than
60 member agencies participating. They are working with the Department of Human Services on
this program to train their member agencies to help their eligible clients complete and submit the
paperwork for SNAP benefits. From August 2010 - February 2011, they hosted a Bill Emerson National
Hunger Fellow through the Congressional Hunger Center in Washington. This Fellow worked
closely with the SNAP Outreach Pilot Program.
In November 2010, they hosted the 1st Annual Member Agency Conference. With over 150 attendees,
informational workshops were held along with a great time for networking. The Annual
Meeting was held after lunch and included voting for the MNF Board of Directors for 2011.
Mobile Pantry distributions were held at 15 sites throughout the underserved counties in our service
area. This helps provide food to people in areas that they do not have an agency or do not
have enough to meet the needs in that area.
COMMUNITY GARDENS PILOT PROGRAM
This year Mississippi Food Network piloted a Community Garden project through a grant from
the Blue Cross Blue Shield of MS Foundation. They selected Madcaap in Madison County, Midtown Partners inner city Jackson and Edwards Street Fellowship in Hattiesburg, all member agencies, to participate. With the help of the MSU Extension Service Master Gardeners, other community volunteers, agency clients
and staff, each of the gardens were a great success and provided fresh produce to the people served by the food pantries. They are very excited about this project and hope to expand it next year to include additional member agencies.
MFN partnership with Russ Reid continues to build our donorbase files through direct mail solicitations.
In 2008 they began with 1,500 donors and have added donors each year. During 2010
- 2011, they acquired 3,661 new donors for a total of 11,389. During the 2010 -2011 year we
received 16 grants from various Foundations. Some of these were substantial and helped them significantly
in their fight against hunger. The WalMart Foundation provided them with two grants during
the year which was used to purchase staple food items for distribution to our member agencies.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield of MS Foundation awarded them a grant to help them pilot a Community
Garden program, provide Nutriton Education and to purchase fresh produce. They also received a
grant from the AT&T Foundation to be used to purchase staple food items and fresh produce. Their
long-time foundation supporters like the Edwin E. and Ruby C. Morgan Foundation, The LuckyDay
Foundation, the Kroger Foundation, the Madison Charitable Foundation and the Grainger Foundation
continue to be very valuable partners in their fight against hunger. They continue to receive
funds from the gift from the Thomas G. Ramey and Peggy Huff Harris Fund managed by the Community
Foundation of Greater Jackson. They are working to increase the funds in their Endowment
Fund with the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson. This is an open fund and anyone who
would like to help grow the endowment to help provide a stable funding stream for Mississippi
Food Network can make a donation through the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson.
Volunteers & Food Drives continue to be a major part of their operations and distribution.