Here’s How WFM Grantees Are Supporting Women’s Health in Mississippi

May 21, 2024 - General News, Grants, Homepage News, Newsroom - Posted by

WFM Blog Header Image May 2024

May is Women’s Health Month, the perfect time to elevate important work going on in Mississippi. Studies show that women’s health not only affects individuals now but determines the health of future generations. In this post, we’re lifting up three of this year’s Women’s Foundation of Mississippi grantees and their work to improve women’s health. 

The Institute for the Advancement of Minority Health (IAMH)

This year, IAMH is tackling Mississippi’s low breastfeeding initiation rate by providing education, resources, and community support to new moms in areas with the lowest rates: Bolivar, Coahoma, Hinds, Issaquena, Leflore, Madison, Rankin, and Sunflower counties. 

Breastfeeding plays a vital role in an infant’s first six months of development, providing essential nutrients for a baby’s growth and health. It also lowers mom’s risk of things like ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. According to the 2023 Mississippi Breastfeeding Report by the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee, Mississippi ranks 24% lower than the national average and has a 34% racial disparity for breastfeeding initiation. 

Not only will IAMH’s work help address these disparities, focusing on Black moms, it will also change the perspectives around breastfeeding in these areas of the state, activating community wellness culture that will last generations.

Magnolia Medical Foundation

Magnolia Medical Foundation (MMF) will support working moms in Jackson who need maternal health services. Using grants from the Women’s Foundation, MMF will grow their food and diaper banks and connect expecting moms to doulas and breastfeeding resources through their project, MS ACE. The more support for moms, the better! 

The S.H.E. Project

The S.H.E. Project has provided vital community support to local families for over a decade. With grant funds from the Women’s Foundation, the S.H.E. Project will power their Hygiene Health Program (HHP), focusing on hygiene poverty. 

Hygiene poverty, or the inability to access hygienic products due to cost, is a serious barrier to young women completing their education. According to this study, 84% of students in the U.S. have either missed class time or know someone who missed class time because they did not have access to menstrual hygiene products. And in a state with historically low high school graduation rates, missing class can make all the difference between a young woman earning her degree, equating to $630,000 more in her lifetime earnings, or continuing the cycle of poverty.

This year, HHP is teaming up with more schools to give out hygiene products and run anti-bullying workshops to cultivate a more supportive classroom environment and improve student behavior. 

Help Power Our Grantmaking

When so many of you come together to donate, it helps us identify organization partners to strategically improve the lives of our state’s women and girls. Click here to learn more about how our grants improve health outcomes for women and what you can do to help move Mississippi forward. Because when women thrive, so does our state!

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