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Nutrition professionals honored for service
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Office of Nutrition Education, administered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, recently recognized several team members with awards for excellence in education, community partnerships, communication and years of service.
Dannie Bolden of Wilkinson County was named the Educator of the Year for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, or EFNEP. Bolden and her fellow educators teach program participants how to create nutritious meals, use a budget for planning food purchases, and properly store, serve and prepare foods.
Jane Chamblee of Pontotoc County received the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education, or SNAP-Ed, Educator of the Year award. SNAP-Ed educators teach those receiving SNAP benefits how to make healthy food choices within a limited budget and choose physically active lifestyles.
Jennifer Russell, an Extension agent in Leflore County, accepted the Monitor of the Year award. The Office of Nutrition Education relies on Extension agents throughout the state to supervise field staff and support program activities.
Irene Harrison, a SNAP-Ed educator, received the Garden Groundbreaker Award. With the help of her monitor, Patty Swearingen, the Extension county coordinator in Lauderdale County, Harrison worked with community partners to successfully install a school garden at T.J. Harris Elementary in Meridian.
Two educators were honored for communicating their impact to others in state, regional and international media outlets. The EFNEP Success Story award went to Tabitha McRunnels, who works in Lee County. The SNAP-Ed Success Story award was presented to Angie Crawford, who works in Quitman County.
The Office of Nutrition Education also honored educators from both EFNEP and SNAP-Ed for years of service, most notably Susan Winters of Lafayette County, Jackie Pullen of Attala County and Ola Hawkins of Leflore County, who have each served for 25 years.