Alcorn State, Miss (September 21, 2012) – On September 19, Alcorn State University participated in the “KNOW Hunger” Nutrition Fair held in Vicksburg, Mississippi, at the Vicksburg Convention Center.
The free fair was open to the public and its main goals were to raise public hunger awareness and feed people in need. The event was a continuation of a year-long pilot program that targets Mississippi because of its high rate of food insecurity. The fair kicked off with the National Urban League, Tyson Foods, Inc. and Jackson State University donating food to the Mississippi Food Network.
The fair also featured health screenings, health and wellness training and healthy meal planning preparation. Alcorn’s School of Nursing and School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences were among the organizations participating in the fair.
Senior level baccalaureate nursing students under the supervision of instructor Christopher Carson, provided health and nutrition services, and useful information to the public to promote health and wellness awareness, and encourage participants to assume responsibility for their own health.
The Center for Conservation Research introduced to the audience Asian vegetables with valuable medicinal properties that were raised by Alcorn researchers. “We introduced bitter gourd, bottle gourd, snake gourd, ridge gourd, malabar spinach and turmeric,” stated Dr. Girish Panicker, associate professor and director of the Center. “The public was interested to see a tuber crop cocoyam that we are introducing in Mississippi. All parts of this plant are edible including tuber, leaf stalk, and leaves. The tuber is rich in carbohydrate and tastier than potato tuber. Also presented were fruits with medicinal properties like muscadine grapes that prevent tumor formation in breast and persimmon that is rich in pectin that absorbs cholesterol from the intestine before it reaches the blood stream, thus helping control cholesterol.”
Dr. Patrick E. Igbokwe, associate director for the Alcorn Experiment Station added, “We displayed and gave away free samples of some of the products produced by Alcorn, such as hot pepper sauce, meat and fish seasoning, noni juice and fruits, tomato paste, fresh and pickled okra, mustard greens, turnip greens, muscadine wine and shiitake mushrooms. A great attention of the audience was on our giant watermelons ranging from 50 to 80 pounds. The two biggest watermelons were donated to the Mayor of Vicksburg and to our nursing students in attendance at the fair.”