In Mississippi, nicknamed “the hospitality state,” you’ll find plenty of Southern hospitality in addition to scenic landscapes along the Mississippi Delta and country-style culinary favorites. Lesser known is that it ranks as the second most obese state in the U.S. for children.

The significant racial and ethnic disparities that exist in obesity prevalence among American children are pronounced in Mississippi’s diverse communities: More than 37 percent of the state’s residents are Black or African American. Additionally, more than 1 in 5 of Mississippi’s nearly 3 million residents lives below the poverty level,* posing additional challenges to accessing the resources kids need to grow up healthy.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, thanks to support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is working with communities throughout the state to make it easier for kids to lead healthier lives.

*Source: The U.S. Census Bureau


Our Work in Mississippi

In Mississippi, we’re making it easier for kids to develop healthy habits.

Nearly 400 schools serving over 200,000 students across the state have joined Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program, creating healthier school environments for children to thrive. Since 2007, nine Mississippi schools have been recognized with National Healthy Schools Awards for their outstanding efforts.

In Mississippi, we’ve also made it easier for more than 1,200 youth in 15 out-of-school time programs to eat right and move more through our Healthy Out-of-School Time initiative.

As part of our work to reduce calorie consumption along with the country’s three largest soda manufactures, each beverage company is committing to focus its efforts at the community level and specifically in communities where there has been less interest in and/or access to options that help community members reduce their calorie intake. Communities within the Mississippi Delta are among the first to see those changes.


Success Stories

Hear from school champions from just two of the many districts we work with in Mississippi: North Bolivar Consolidated School District (formerly Mound Bayou Public School District), enrolled with the Healthy Schools Program since 2011; and Vicksburg Warren School District, enrolled since 2011.


Healthier Generation staff helped me understand USDA regulations, and led a district-wide staff training about USDA’s Smart Snacks in School standards.

Rose Tate
Child Nutrition Director, North Bolivar Consolidated School District, MS

The Healthy Schools Program has brought our parents, students, teachers, administrators, nurses and community members together to look at what’s happening in our school. It lets us all know that we have voices with power to make change.

Gail Kavanaugh
Child Nutrition Director, Vicksburg Warren School District, MS


Program Managers

Jason Geering

Healthy Schools & Communities Program Manager

Contact us and make your contribution to children's health in Mississippi.

Soudary Kittivong-Greenbaum