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Move on Up Mississippi announces $25,000 in grants

Move On Up Mississippi, the foundation started by Chef John Currence, announced contributions of more than $25,000 in community funding to four local health education programs.

The board’s eight members, John Currence, John T. Edge, Robyn Tannehill, Mac Nichols, Kelly English, Afton Thomas, Eleanor Green and Janae Owens, made the funding decisions.

“Our board evaluates programs based on community needs, measurable outcomes, financial accountability, and innovation,” said John T. Edge, director of the Southern Foodways Alliance and president of the MOUM board. “MOUM is committed to building a stronger, more vibrant Lafayette County.”

The four grantees are: Doors of Hope Transition Ministries, Oxford Community Market, the Oxford School District Child Nutrition Department and Run Oxford’s Mighty Miler Youth program.

Doors of Hope received a grant to implement their new program, Fresh Foods. According to a statement from MOUM, the program will support regular fresh food deliveries to clients and provide educational opportunities to enhance clients’ knowledge of the benefits of purchasing and preparing quality food.

Oxford Community Market received a grant to support their ongoing Oh SNAP! marketing and outreach initiative. OXCM provides outreach and consumer education for limited income shoppers and individuals and families eligible for SNAP and WIC.

“MOUM shares our vision of a healthier, more vibrant state – and we can achieve this by working together, one community at a time, chipping away at the barriers that make food insecurity a heartbreaking reality for too many of our fellow Mississippians,” OXCM director Betsy Chapman said. “We can only hope that OXCM’s community-based work to improve access to fresh, healthy food contributes to MOUM’s larger mission to move Mississippi forward.”

Oxford School District’s Child Nutrition Department received a grant for professional development. The department and its staff work to provide healthy, fresh and delicious meals to area students in a safe and clean environment.

Run Oxford received a MOUM grant to expand their Mighty Miler Youth Running Program. The program aims to take new youth runners and help them complete a 5k race. Mighty Miler will also work with more experienced youth runners and prepare them for more competitive running.

“This year, we dedicated $25,000 to health and wellness programs serving Lafayette-Oxford-University,” Owens, a board member, said in a news release. “For everyone involved in this process, these decisions have inspired a desire to work harder than ever to address unmet needs in our community.”

To donate or learn more about Move On Up Mississippi, please visit www.moveonupms.org.