MSU Extension adds two regional registered dietitians
RAYMOND, Miss. -- The Mississippi State University Extension Service hired two regional registered dietitians to help in the fight against obesity and chronic disease in Mississippi.
Madison Payne and Dottie Kenda have joined the Extension Office of Nutrition Education. In their regions, they oversee curriculums and delivery for the Extension Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education, or SNAP-Ed, and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, or EFNEP.
Payne and Kenda work with SNAP-Ed community wellness planners and EFNEP nutrition educators in Extension county offices to help coordinate efforts to teach low-resource families ways to improve their diets, increase physical activity and manage their food resources. Community wellness planners and nutrition educators deliver direct instruction in communities and schools to influence policy, systems and the environment to bring about better nutritional outcomes.
Current SNAP-Ed and EFNEP programs include Cooking Matters, a hands-on cooking and nutrition series used in communities; Eating Smart Being Active, a healthy eating and active living series for limited-resource adults caring for children; Today’s Mom, a class about nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices for moms-to-be to help improve birth outcomes and increase breastfeeding rates; Show Me Nutrition, a comprehensive nutrition curriculum that teaches young people how to have healthy lifestyles; Fun with Food, a cooking course for 4th through 6th grades that promotes farm to table, culinary skills and confidence in food preparation; Smarter Lunchrooms, a program designed to encourage children to make healthier choices in the lunchroom; and implementation of school and community gardens.
Payne, who guides the program in the southeast region, is based at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi. Payne earned one bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from Delta State University and another in nutrition and food systems from the University of Southern Mississippi. She has seven years of experience as a nutrition educator and clinical dietitian and is a member of the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Kenda, who guides the program in the southwest region, is located at the Central Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Raymond. She completed the didactic program in dietetics at Louisiana State University and participated in the dietetic internship program at Southern University A&M College. As a clinical registered dietitian, she has 10 years of experience working with nutrition coordination and wellness education and promotion in private and academic settings. Kenda is a certified diabetes educator, a certified lifestyles coach, and holds certificates of training in adult, child and adolescent weight management.
Extension works with the Mississippi Department of Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services to deliver SNAP-Ed and with USDA and National Institute of Food and Agriculture to deliver EFNEP in Mississippi.
For more information or to partner with Extension in the southeast region to deliver educational programming in your school or community, contact Payne at 228-388-4710 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For programming needs in the southwest region, contact Kenda at 601-857-2284 or email@example.com.