JACKSON, Miss. — North Mississippi MAGNOLIAs, a partnership between the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and the Mississippi Minority Farmers’ Alliance (MMFA), has been selected as one of 15 teams of rising public health and community leaders from around the country to participate in the first Public Health Regenerative Leadership Synergy (PHEARLESS) initiative.
North Mississippi MAGNOLIAs will participate in the 12-month educational experience to develop the skills to build sustainable solutions that advance health equity and well-being in their communities. Each four-person team will receive a $100,000 grant to support their learning and community activities.
“We are excited to spearhead the good work that the Mississippi Minority Farmer’s Alliance is doing in the community to provide healthy foods to Mississippians. Our goal is to reduce cardiovascular disease through education and access to nutrition,” said Natalie Chilcutt, member of the North Mississippi MAGNOLIAs.
MMFA is ensuring that minority farmers have opportunities for community engagement along with economic development. By focusing on policy, systems and environment changes, the group works to improve access to nutrition, reduce obesity and improve cardiovascular health outcomes for all Mississippians. Current initiatives to address food insecurity and health disparities include farmers’ markets, community gardens and health education.
The Mississippi State Department of Health will contribute chronic disease self-management and diabetes self-management classes that are designed to improve health outcomes for community participants at no cost.
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