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Oxford School District awarded child nutrition grants

Oxford School District has received two grants to promote childhood nutrition, which will go to the Good Food for Oxford Schools program and the OSD Child Nutrition Department.

The first grant comes courtesy of the United Way of Oxford and Lafayette County, who awarded $8,200 to Good Food for Oxford Schools. GFOS is one of only 25 organizations and two community coalitions to receive grants for the 2018-2019 funding cycle, and UWOLC executive director Curt Brummett said the grant was a direct result of community input.

“A group of community volunteers are the ones who review each grant application,” Brummett said. “The grants are always based on need in the community.”

The grant will support the Growing and Learning: Culture of Health program, which includes cafeteria and classroom lessons, Carrot Camp and teacher support for incorporating lessons into their classroom using standards-based curriculum that focuses on health and wellness.

In order to be considered for a UWOLC grant, applicants must fall into one of four focus areas: health, education, financial stability and basic needs. GFOS falls into the health category, and received just one portion of the $305,000 total donated by UWOLC. More grant recipients will be announced later this week.

The second grant was awarded to the OSD Child Nutrition Department by Move On Up Mississippi. At $5,000, the grant will be used to support the “Cafe Team Professional Development and Nutrition Literacy Project” initiative.

Founded by acclaimed local chef John Currence, Move On Up Mississippi is an organization that inspires and funds educational initiatives to realize a healthier future for Mississippi children.

The goals of the “Cafe Team Professional Development and Nutrition Literacy Project” include professional development training for cafeteria leaders to increase participation in the national school lunch program to create a district-wide culture of health and overall wellness through school meals.

The OSD Child Nutrition Department makes daily meals available to 4,305 students in preschool through grade 12. The district’s average free and reduced lunch rate is currently 47.3 percent, although some schools are at or above 50 percent.

For more information, visit http://oxfordsd.org.

At press time, a representative from OSD was unavailable for comment.