Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi
Farmers' Market in Nettleton, MS

National Nutrition Month: The Foundation’s Impact

National Nutrition Month is celebrated every year during the month of March. This year’s theme is “Beyond the Table”, which focuses on the farm-to-fork aspect of nutrition. Ultimately, this theme highlights food production and distribution all the way to grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

In recognition of National Nutrition Month, The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation highlights two of its flagship programs – School Gardens and Farmers’ Markets – both designed to increase nutrition education and healthy eating among Mississippians of all ages.

Farmers’ Markets

For more than 20 years, the Foundation has partnered with communities across the state to build a healthy population of all ages by creating sustainable opportunities for residents to make healthy decisions. The Foundation encourages communities to establish farmers’ markets in the heart of their own cities and towns, creating a vibrant community centerpiece for health and well-being.

The Foundation partners with the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce to promote farmers’ markets in Mississippi communities, reinforcing healthy nutrition and overall good health through the Department’s branding program. The Department of Agriculture and Commerce identifies communities in which a marketplace of Mississippi grown fruits, vegetables and other products can be sold. Each farmers’ market funded by the Foundation has achieved a status titled “Mississippi Certified Farmers’ Market”.

In 2023, the Foundation awarded grants to the Iuka and Nettleton communities to increase access to healthy nutrition. The farmers’ markets provide a friendly atmosphere where families, friends and neighbors participate in healthy cooking demonstrations, try new recipes, and learn about sustainable food sources.

School Garden Program

By investing in K-12 schools across the state, the Foundation is positively influencing a generation of youth who deserve a healthy start in life with the School Garden Program. The Foundation partners with schools statewide and the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Healthy Schools to ensure students can be educated in nutrition.

The Program is designed to educate and empower students to make healthy food choices while engaging in moderate exercise and building positive relationships. Students learn the simple acts of growing, harvesting and enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables in a garden, greenhouse or aquaponics. This fosters a sense of ownership and equity while also increasing knowledge about healthy eating.

Over the past decade, School Garden programs have been implemented in 82 schools across the state.

Learn more about how the Foundation is helping Mississippi communities through nutrition education here.


MS Department of Agriculture and Commerce

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Health Information
Health & Wellness Articles
Health & Wellness Programs
Health & Wellness Resources