COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Mississippi University for Women plans to make Mississippi healthier with mobile kitchen demonstrations of healthy ingredients and food preparation.


In the fall of 2015, The W looks to launch Project CHEW (Cook Healthy, Eat Well). The mobile unit will be highlighted by a 24-foot fully equipped W-wrapped catering trailer that will feature a demonstration kitchen with audio visual equipment. The project will venture statewide to present culinary demonstrations that emphasize healthy ingredients and food preparation techniques.

“I believe Project CHEW will help The W play a role in building a healthier Mississippi and show that the building blocks for these meals are grown right here in our home state,” said Dr. Scott Tollison, dean of the College of Business and Professional Studies, in which the Culinary Arts Institute is housed. “Project CHEW demonstrates that preparing healthy, nutritious meals can be done anywhere – even on the road from a food trailer.”

Appearing at high schools, community colleges, markets and festivals across the state, Project CHEW hopes to encourage the use of locally sourced food. Where available, the project will use farmers’ markets throughout the state to support local farmers and emphasize the importance of fresh produce as part of a healthy diet. The project looks to support the goals of Blueprint Mississippi by educating citizens to make healthier food choices, utilizing healthier cooking techniques and providing professional development opportunities. Blueprint Mississippi is a long-range economic development plan for Mississippi developed by the Mississippi Economic Council.

“I am excited that The W will be able to bring the world-class instruction offered at its Culinary Arts Institute to high schools, community colleges and hospitals across Mississippi,” stated Tollison.

In 2013, The United Health Foundation ranked Mississippi 50th among the states in overall health and 49th in both obesity and diabetes rates, conditions significantly affected by dietary choices. The Milken Institute predicts that an annual cost of chronic disease in Mississippi will reach $13 billion in 2023. Project CHEW proposes to reduce the prevalence of diet-related illnesse sand subsequently lower the cost of treating chronic illness through education and training throughout the state.

A Project CHEW  coordinator will lead the project and  will be hired in 2015 by The W. In addition to the project manager, student interns will support the project and gain valuable professional experience. Project CHEW is funded by the Robert M. Hearin Support Foundation.



Dec. 17, 2014
Contact: Tyler Wheat
(662) 241-7863
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