Shape Up Mississippi Receives International Paper Grant

Published 1:46 pm Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Shape Up Mississippi has been awarded a $5,000 grant from International Paper’s Vicksburg Mill and the International Paper Foundation. 

As a result of COVID-19, the funds will help residents with access and availability of fresh and healthy foods as well as fitness activities and culinary programs to educate about proper nutrition. 

The organization will convene with its partners, Alcorn State University, the City of Vicksburg, United Way, Nutrition Matters and local chefs to connect food to health and physical activity.  

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“Our first Food for Thought goal is to purchase a portable demonstration kitchen, including pots, pans and utensils for interactive learning,” a release from Shape Up Mississippi said. “Our second goal is workshops to see food as the chief tool to prevent diabetes and heart disease. We aim to engage residents with opportunities to participate in community building, social connectedness and help increase access to healthy fresh food.”

The organization’s Food for Thought goals are to continue distributing local foods to the food pantry, increase U-pick days, and extend the Vicksburg Community Garden’s reach to residents in need.

“We are so appreciative to International Paper for their community leadership and grateful for IP volunteers to help the Vicksburg Community Garden increase access to healthy fresh food in a green environment,” said Linda Fondren, founder of Shape Up Mississippi and community garden organizer.

“We are very proud to partner with Shape Up Mississippi and support the programs that truly make a difference in our community,” said Jami Cameron, Communications Coordinator for International Paper in Vicksburg.