President’s Message

Greetings MS-AND Members-

This upcoming month the MSAND Board will focus on getting our Affiliate Regions off the ground and rolling. If you will remember, MS-AND voted to transition our Districts to Regions back in the Spring of 2018. At that time, the Board took a look at the effectiveness of the past Districts in the State. With low District memberships, lower volunteer interests and low attendance at meetings, we felt moving to Affiliate Regions would provide more flexibility and less pressure on our members. Instead of a 3-4-person board, each Region will have one Coordinator.  Each Region’s Coordinator will work alongside the MS-AND Board to make sure members needs are met.

With that said, if you or someone you know is interested in volunteering as Region Coordinator, please email me at
We have embedded the new Affiliate Map for your reference. For those that attended the past several years Annual Conferences, this graphic should look familiar!

Have a great month!

Lindsay Mixon

President-Elect Letter

Hi everyone,

I hope that you are having a good summer. I noticed that July is National Culinary Arts Month – much of my work is with food service and I get to see what organizations do to combine flavors, meal presentation and science. It makes me think so much about what every registered dietitian nutritionist, dietetic intern and dietetic student does every day. You combine all of the nutrition and dietetics knowledge that you have and present it to your customers/clients in an attractive (comprehendible) manner. I am so proud to be a part of our MS-AND community.

I am so excited to announce that we are planning for the 2022 annual meeting to be in-person on the Mississippi Gulf Coast on March 24 and 25th.  There will be intriguing general sessions, captivating breakout sessions on a variety of topics, an assortment of exhibitors, as well as an educational poster session and reception. I’d love your help planning and organizing the meeting, so please think about joining one of the conference committees. We will send out additional information soon.

I am energized to work with y’all this year. Please let me know if you have any questions, concerns or ideas.


Lydia West, MPH, RDN, LD, President-elect
Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

2022 MS-AND Annual Conference

The 2022 MS-AND Annual Conference is being planned for an in person event March 24-25th on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Check back for more details soon. If you are interested in helping to plan the conference, please contact Lydia West at


MS-AND Members Help to Feed Children While School is not in Session

Many School Nutrition Directors across Mississippi are Registered Dietitian Nutritionists and they worked hard over the summer to provide free nutritious meals to Mississippians 18 years old and younger through the USDA Summer Food Service Program (Summer Meals Program).

One example of this program is what Brad Barlow and the Child Nutrition staff with Harrison County School District offered to their community. Check out this article from WLOX on that program: 

Have You Joined the ACT now for MNT Campaign?

Even though nutrition plays an important role in preventing and treating chronic diseases, seniors in the United States only have access to MNT for diabetes and renal disease. Swift passage of the recently introduced Medical Nutrition Therapy Act is crucial to address this gap in care and achieving health equity for racial and ethnic minority populations. The Academy is calling on its members to keep the momentum going on this important piece of legislation with the ACT now for MNT campaign.  

Academy members are asked to take three easy steps to ACT now for MNT:

Once you have completed all three tasks, visit the ACT now for MNT social media toolkit to help spread the word! Together, we can advocate for access to MNT and improve our nation’s health.

2021 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo

Registration for the 2021 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo is now open. This year’s event is full of GREAT opportunities AND it is virtual. Click here for more information: 

USDA Thrifty Food Plan

USDA uses The Thrify Food Plan for the basis of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) allotments. That agency is currently analyzing The Thrifty Food Plan. The Academy sent formal comments to the USDA Undersecretary for  Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services, Stacy Dean, encouraging USDA to use the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans for the plan. Futhermore, the Academy urged that the Thrifty Food Plan must take into account culturally appropriate market baskets, realistic time expectations for shopping and meal preparation, as well as transportation challenges. Click here to read all of the comments.

News from The Academy

July 31 Submission Deadline: Members’ Comments on Proposed Bylaws Amendment

The Academy is proposing an amendment to the organization’s Bylaws that would shift responsibility for voting on changes to the Bylaws from the House of Delegates to the Board of Directors. Members are urged to complete a survey on whether you support the proposed changes. The comment period closes July 31.

September 10 Nominations Deadline: Academy’s 2022 National Election

It is never too early to start thinking about the future. For the Academy’s 2022 National Election, the Nominating Committee seeks leaders with proven skills and vision to further the profession. Nominations for president-elect, speaker-elect and treasurer-elect close September 10 and nominations for all other positions are due by November 8.

Learn More

October 1 Deadline: Register Students for FNCE® and Win

Educators: Give your students an opportunity to enhance their future career in nutrition and dietetics and encourage them to register for the 2021 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo™ virtual event. The Academy will recognize five education programs that bring the highest percentage of students to FNCE® with the opportunity for a virtual VIP meet and greet with Academy President Kevin Sauer, PhD, RDN, LD, FAND, and the Board of Directors. Each winning school will receive complimentary site access for a Center for Lifelong Learning online module from Certificate of Training programs. Work with your educators to submit your type of program, total enrollment number of students registered for FNCE® and the percentage this represents by October 1 to

Mississippi is Better Together

The Missisisppi State Department of Health (MSDH), Bureau of Community & School Health,  is working with child care centers across the state utilizing Go NAPSACC.  Go NAPSACC’s seven easy-to-use modules address topics essential to the health of today’s young children. Each module uses tailored tools and best practices to guide child care providers toward healthy changes. The seven modules focus on:    

  • Child Nutrition
  • Infant & Child Physical Activity 
  • Breastfeeding & Infant Feeding 
  • Screen Time 
  • Farm to Early Care and Education (F2ECE)  
  • Oral Health 
  • Outdoor Play and Learning 

There are five MS-AND members involved in this project: Tiffani Grant is the lead for the MS Better Together Project,  LaShaundrea Bradford and Lydia West serve as a technical assistance consultants with the centers, Lenora Phillips serves as the lead trainer and technical assitance consultant, and Jacinda Roach is a member of the  ECE Stakeholders workgroup and supports enrollement of statewide GO NAPSACC.    

The Better Together Project has three components: 

  • Learning Collaboratives: an eight month learning collaborative with child care centers across the state where each center creates a leadership team and works through four of the Go NAPSACC modules through virtual live classes, recorded sessions, and assignments. The 2020-2021 collaborative recruited 78 centers from low-income areas in the metro Jackson area and the Delta. The 2021-2022 collaboratives will begin in September. Recruitment focuses on programs in Metro Jackson area, the Delta, Greater Hattiesburg and Laurel, and the Coast. Participating centers have access to their Go NAPSACC account and resources through June 2022.
  • State Wide Go NAPSACC: organizational partners across the state are working with early care and education centers (ECEs) to provide technical asssitance to support adoption of healthy eating and phyiscal activity best practice standards.  
  • State Systems Work: formation of a subcommittee to develop a statewide recognition program to acknowledge ECEs for obesity prevention efforts and a Technical Assistance  network so that ECE centers can find information on specific topics through a resource database.  

The Mississippi Public Health Institute is working with child care centers in Harrison, Hancock, and Jackson Counties through a Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) grant, to help the centers achieve best practice recommendations of Go NAPSACC concepts.


The Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN) awarded MSDH with the Farm to Early Care and Education Implementation Grant (FIG).  One of the FIG strategies was to award mini grants to help sites strategically engage in F2ECE, as well as connect with local farmers in their area. Over 90 applications were received and 27 ECE programs were selected to participate.  

If you would like to learn more about Go NAPSACC, visit the website: