Alcorn Partners with Miss. Food Network and the American Heart Association to host Mobile Pantry Program

Alcorn Partners with Miss. Food Network and the American Heart Association to host Mobile Pantry Program

Mississippi Food Network in partnership with the American Heart Association hosted its Mobile Pantry Program on the Lorman campus of Alcorn State University on Thursday, December 6.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to expand our reach into Claiborne County and partner with Alcorn State University,” said Catherine Montgomery, MS, RD, LD, CHES, Strategic Impact manager at MFN. “Through this valuable initiative, we will be able to enhance our services in the area to better meet the needs of the local community and the university staff/students. We thank Alcorn State University for the hospitality and look forward to a fruitful partnership.”

The Mobile Pantry Program directly serves neighbors in underserved areas of the state. Each mobile pantry distributes a variety of products, including protein, fresh produce, and shelf-stable foods.

“Our location is deemed a food desert because the nearest grocery store is 20 minutes away,” said Dr. Tracy M. Cook, interim president. “This opportunity is our chance to give back to the local community and serve as a host site for the Mississippi Food Network to meet the health and nutrition needs of the Alcorn community and Southwest Mississippi. The National Center for Safe and Supportive Learning Environments notes that at least one in three college students face food insecurity.”

Dr. Natasha Hutson, dean of University College, notes the impact on individuals facing food insecurity.

“Unmet food and nutrition needs are consequential to all facets of life—physical, mental, emotional, and social,” said Hutson. “Our partnership with the Mississippi Food Network to support the food security needs of our campus and surrounding communities contributes to thriving families where students and parents can be their best and succeed in life.”

This grant-funded initiative will enhance MFN’s reach into a very rural and underserved county of our service area.

According to Dr. Helen M. Beady, Senior Director of Community Engagement for American Heart Association, “It is our goal to facilitate partnerships bringing together stakeholders like Alcorn State University and Mississippi Food Network to address social drivers of health impacting under-resourced and underserved communities. In Mississippi, food insecurity and nutritional security are at the top of these drivers because we lead the nation in hunger and food insecurity. Research supports that one’s diet is an important risk factor in coronary heart disease. A person’s cardiovascular health is linked to food, and subsequently, to high blood pressure.”

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