November 21, 2017  

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Institute for Disability Studies Expands Nutrition Efforts for Disability Community with Regional Project

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The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) strives to expand its health efforts with the launch of “Nutrition is for Everyone,” a one-year regional project designed to provide nutrition education to people with disabilities, their families, and the community.

An estimated 25,000 people in the disability community will be reached across five states where the needs are greatest: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.

“We are pleased to work with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and partners in our region to implement “Nutrition is for Everyone,” under grant funding from the Walmart Foundation. We are excited about the Walmart Foundation’s commitment to funding programs that provide nutrition education to underserved communities. These efforts support the direct training of people with disabilities and community members on nutrition,” said IDS Executive Director Dr. Beth Bryant.

“People with disabilities are not often included in typical nutrition efforts. During our pilot last year, ‘Nutrition is for Everyone’ reached over 67,000 the disability community with nutrition outreach and education efforts. We want to see people who have disabilities included in all nutrition outreach and education efforts,” says Dr. Adriane Griffen, AUCD’s director of public health.

This new program employs “Nutrition Ambassadors,” experts from AUCD’s member centers, who will help people with disabilities, as well as their families and friends, develop the knowledge and skills to necessary to make healthy decisions about their nutritional needs.

IDS is a member of AUCD, a national, nonprofit network of centers working to improve the health, education, social, and economic well-being for people with disabilities and their families throughout the US and territories. IDS has worked to improve the lives of children and adults with disabilities and their families through projects focused on wellness, health and recreation.

“We look forward to meeting the goals of “Nutrition is for Everyone” — increasing the number of people with disabilities receiving nutrition education, while increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables for people with disabilities,” said Nutrition Ambassador Alma Ellis.

To join the “Nutrition is for Everyone” efforts in Mississippi, contact Alma Ellis at 601.432.6975 or alma.ellis@usm.edu.

The Institute for Disability Studies, Mississippi’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD), has been headquartered at The University of Southern Mississippi for more than 40 years. For more information about IDS, call at 601.266.5163 or visit www.usm.edu/disability-studies.