Building a Healthy Mississippi

Mississippi continues to make progress toward a healthier future, and the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is facilitating this progress by providing the resources, funding and leadership needed to continue in our commitment to a healthier Mississippi.

The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is proud to have provided grant funding to these organizations:

Building Healthy Communities

Town of Walnut Grove - 2020 Healthy Hometown

The Town of Walnut Grove was honored as a Mississippi "Healthy Hometown" in its inaugural year as a contender. Located in Leake County, the town has an active Healthy Hometown Committee, led by the mayor, which meets regularly and includes town leaders as well as local business, school, church, medical and other community leaders. Health and well-being are promoted on the town’s social media platforms to encourage healthy eating and exercise.

Click here to learn more about Walnut Grove's healthy initiatives.

Life Enhancement and Achievement Program (First Tee of Central Mississippi)

The First Tee is an international youth development organization introducing the game of golf to children and teens. Through in school and after school programs, the organization integrates the game of golf with life skills such as self-confidence and resilience that students can carry well beyond their school years.

Support to Food Banks Across Mississippi

With a vision for a healthy Mississippi, the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation has provided generous grant funds to multiple food banks across the state as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthy nutrition is an important part of everyday well-being, and COVID-19 is amplifying the need for individuals to have access to healthy foods.

The Foundation’s partnership with Mississippi food banks ensures that food is procured, distributed to local pantries, and made available to children and adults who need nutritious foods to thrive. For all Mississippians impacted and in need of food, the Foundation is responding and connecting to those in need with grant support to Mississippi food banks.

Click here to learn more about the Foundation's support to Food Banks.

University and College Tobacco-Free Campus Policies Strengthened

The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation is providing ongoing support to Mississippi’s universities and colleges by encouraging strengthened tobacco-free policies that align with the Model Policy for a Smoke-free College/University as published by the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation (ANRF). The Foundation is using a tiered approach for awarding grant funds to universities and colleges willing to adopt tobacco-free policies that include 100 percent of the elements in the Model Policy. Grant funds are provided for support of general health and wellness at the university or college, excluding support of athletic teams.

Within the past year, the following universities and colleges have received grants from the Foundation to strengthen their tobacco-free policies.

Building Healthy Schools

Gilmer McLaurin Elementary School - 2020 Healthiest School

Gilmer McLaurin Elementary School in Natchez is dedicated to teaching school personnel, students and their families to value their own health. School leaders and school health council members work together to create a sustainable environment of health and well-being that reaches beyond the classroom.

DeLisle Elementary School - 2020 Healthy School

Aligned with one of the overall strategic goals established by the Pass Christian School District, DeLisle Elementary School leaders and health council members work together to maintain a healthy school environment. The school's curricula incorporates 60 minutes of physical activity per day, and students are encouraged to set fitness goals and keep activity journals.

Moselle Elementary School - 2020 Healthy School

As part of the Jones County School District, Moselle Elementary School is a role model of health and wellness for schools across Mississippi. School district leaders and school health council members are building a sustainable culture of well-being by promoting healthy nutrution and physical fitness.

St. Martin High School - 2020 Healthy School

School administrators and school health council members at St. Martin High School collaborate to ensure faculty, staff, students and their families have opportunities to participate in healthy eating and exercise activities. The school is aligned with one of the Ocean Springs School District's overarching strategic goals to create and sustain a healthy school environment.

School Garden Program

In 2020, the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation awarded school garden grants to 17 Mississippi K-12 schools. School gardens offer hands-on learning as it provides opportunities for students to observe everything from seeding to harvesting to tasting, which helps them understand how healthy foods grow. Teachers are connecting the school garden with classroom curricula such as science, math, reading, culinary art, and physical education so students can learn about healthy cooking, eating and environmental sustainability.