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AIM for CHangE What We Do

AIM for CHangE works with local coalitions to plan and implement changes that improve access to healthier foods and opportunities for physical activity in Mississippi counties with increased rates of obesity in adults. Explore Our Counties to learn more about the coalitions, or check out our Success Stories to learn more about projects they are working on!

AIM for CHangE primarily supports community action projects to address the strategies described below.

  • We currently work in 9 of 12 Mississippi counties with adult obesity rates of 40% or more to improve:
    • Nutrition: food systems and food service guidelines/healthy nutrition standards
      • Work with food pantries, community gardens, farmers markets, restaurants, convenience stores, and other food outlets to improve the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables
    • Physical Activity: sidewalks, paths, bicycle routes, and public transit connecting homes, schools, worksites, parks, or recreation centers
      • Work with infrastructure projects such as sidewalk lighting, directional signage, and local beautification to encourage active living through walkability between everyday destinations
  • AIM for CHangE is structured to involve and engage community members from the very beginning so they are empowered to be change leaders in their communities.
  • Our coalitions:
    • ensure local involvement of people from multiple demographic backgrounds and health statuses.
    • empower residents to develop healthier cultures by addressing both community and individual-level factors, recognizing the importance of social determinants of health.
    • receive support and technical assistance from AIM for CHangE agents to implement solutions.
    • avoid duplication of efforts with ongoing projects through frequent communication within a network of partners.
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Publication Number: P3430


A woman and a man pose in front of shopping bags and blue crates.
Filed Under: Rural Development, AIM for CHangE November 24, 2021

DREW, Miss. -- The small Delta town of Drew in the heart of Sunflower County has created a private, public and academic partnership to fight food insecurity.

For its efforts, the town recently received a big new honor, along with funding to advance ongoing health equity improvements. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) last month awarded Drew and nine other communities the 2020–2021 Culture of Health Prize, along with $25,000.

Man in a maroon shirt and baseball cap in a greenhouse.
Filed Under: Agriculture, AIM for CHangE, Mental Health First Aid July 22, 2021

LOUISVILLE, Miss. -- Jim McAdory wears many hats. On any given day, the Mississippi State University Extension Service agent fields calls from local cattle farmers, teaches kids about the importance of daily nutrition, and tests soil to diagnose front yard and garden harvest problems -- all before lunch.

Based in Winston County, McAdory recently gained an additional role: Mental Health First Aid instructor.

Filed Under: AIM for CHangE July 8, 2021

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Only eight teams were accepted into the Society of Public Health Education Writing for Publication Workshop this summer, and one of them is from Mississippi State University.

Katharine Halfacre and Masey Smith, Extension specialists in the MSU Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion, were accepted into the competitive program for their involvement with the MSU Extension program AIM for CHangE.

Two people step off a bus.
Filed Under: Food and Health, Health, AIM for CHangE, Rural Health June 21, 2021

Citizens in northern Sunflower County can use a new ride-sharing service to maintain an independent and healthy lifestyle. The service, called Healthy Destination Access, kicked off June 15 with ribbon cuttings in Rome and Drew.

Three volunteers unload boxes from an 18-wheeler.
Filed Under: Health and Wellness, AIM for CHangE May 6, 2021

MAYERSVILLE, Miss. -- Alexis Hamilton never thought he would be hauling a green plastic dinosaur sheathed in protective plastic through an empty field in the Mississippi Delta. But when he looks back on his career, it’s not that big of a leap.


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