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Schools receive grants to improve nutrition

(Allie Ware)
(Allie Ware)
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Updated: 5/01/2013 3:15 pm
JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) -- Fifty Mississippi schools have received a Nutrition Integrity Grant from the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Healthy Schools to purchase and install new equipment in school kitchens.

The grant, which is funded by The Bower Foundation, will replace schools’ existing deep-fat fryers with combination oven steamers.

The ovens use super-heated steam to cook foods with less fat, saturated fat and trans fat.

“Improving nutrition and physical activity levels for Mississippi school children is a priority of the foundation,” said Anne Travis, CEO of The Bower Foundation. “Healthy children are more likely to be academically successful.”

The Bower Foundation has provided funding for 134 schools to install the combination steamer ovens in 100 school districts since 2006.

Through its partnership with OHS, Bower also works to improve the health of Mississippi students through several additional nutrition and physical activity projects.

“School meals are one of the most important ways to ensure that children are fit, healthy and ready to succeed,” said Scott Clements, Director of MDE’s Office of Healthy Schools. “This new oven steamer will help schools serve breakfasts and lunches that are as nutritious and delicious as possible for children in our state.”

Kitchen staffs have been pleased with the higher quality food and grease-free work environment.

Installing new kitchen equipment and practicing lower-fat cooking are just two of the many ways that schools can focus on the health of students.

“Mississippi is leading the way in improving the health of our school children through the partnership of the Mississippi Board of Education, the Mississippi Legislature, the Mississippi Department of Health and the gracious support of the Bower Foundation,” said Dr. Lynn House, Interim State Superintendent of Education. “The Legislature passed a law to increase physical activity and health education in the classroom. The Board of Education set new standards for food and drinks in our school vending machines, and the Bower Foundation provided grants for schools to replace fryers with steamers. These combined efforts have helped schools to create an environment that supports healthy behaviors.”

Anne Travis agrees. “Schools are where major shifts in health are going to start. By starting to reinforce healthy eating behaviors now, we’re not only helping schools educate more successful students, but we also helping Mississippi’s future.”

A complete list of grant recipients is listed below.

Nutrition Integrity 2013 Grant Recipients
1. Benoit School District, Ray Brooks School
2. Biloxi Public School District, Biloxi High School
3. Biloxi Public School District, Popps Ferry Elementary
4. Calhoun County School District, Calhoun City Elementary
5. Calhoun County School District, Calhoun City Middle/High School
6. Coahoma County School District, Lyon Elementary School
7. Columbia School District, Columbia High School
8. Desoto County School District, Desoto Central Middle School
9. Desoto County School District, Horn Lake High School
10. George County School District, George County Middle School
11. Greenville Public School District, Coleman Middle School
12. Greenville Public School District, Solomon Middle School
13. Greenwood Public School District, Bankston Elementary Schoo
14. Harrison County School District, D'Iverville Middle School
15. Harrison County School District, Three Rivers Elementary
16. Hattiesburg Public School District, Grace Christian Elementary School
17. Hattiesburg Public School District, Lillie Burney Elementary School
18. Hinds County School District, Carver Middle School
19. Hinds County School District, Utica Elementary School
20. Itawamba School District, Dorsey Attendance Center
21. Itawamba School District, Mantachie Attendance Center
22. Jackson Public School District, Forest Hill High School
23. Jackson Public School District, Lester Elementary School
24. Lee County School District, Guntown Middle School
25. Lee County School District, Mooreville Elementary
26. Long Beach School District, Long Beach High School
27. Long Beach School District, Quarles Elementary School
28. Lowndes County School District, Caledonia High School
29. Lowndes County School District, New Hope Middle School
30. Marion County School District, East Marion Attendance Center
31. Newton Municipal School District, N. H. Pilate Middle School
32. Newton Municipal School District, Newton High School
33. Oxford School District, Oxford Middle School
34. Pascagoula School District, College Park Elementary
35. Pascagoula School District, Trent Lott Academy
36. Picayune School District, Picayune Junior High School
37. Picayune School District, West Side Elementary Schoo
38. Simpson County School District, Magee High School
39. South Pike School District, Osyka Elementary School
40. South Tippah School District, Pine Grove School
41. Stone County School District, Perkinston Elementary
42. Stone County School District, Stone Middle School
43. Tate County School District, East Tate Elementary
44. Tate County School District, Strayhorn Elementary School
45. Tupelo Public School District, Tupelo High School
46. Tupelo Public School District, Tupelo Middle School
47. Vicksburg Warren School District, Vicksburg Junior High School
48. Vicksburg Warren School District, Warren Centrol Junior High School
49. Wilkinson County School District, Wilkinson County High School
50. Wilkinson County School District, William Winans Middle School
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