Sept. 2, 2011
Abigail Phillips, 22, recently came to Jackson to make a difference. As a service member of Food Corps, a national non-profit organization, she builds and tends school gardens, helping children learn about whole foods and balanced diets.
"There are 3 pillars that Food Corps rests on: Knowledge, Engagement and Access," Phillips said. "Our goal is to reverse the rate of childhood obesity. I'll be doing that by working in public schools, mostly in low-income districts." She is one of four Food Corps service members working in Mississippi.
Phillips came to Jackson from St. Paul, Minn. Before that, she attended the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. She gets a stipend for her work with Food Corps, which includes working with school cafeterias to serve healthy foods and getting community members involved in better nutrition.
Her primary form of transportation is her bicycle. "I do it because I don't have a car. When I was in Washington, everyone rode their bike everywhere. I didn't realize it would be a unique thing to do down here. I came down with my bike, my guitar and my yoga mat. For the most part, drivers are really respectful. People give me funny reactions when I tell them I've been biking."
She's also found a place to live at One University Place, the new development near Jackson State University. She lives with another Food Corps service member.
"It's very comfortable and beautiful," Phillips said. "I love the location. Jackson is a really exciting community to live in."
She spends a lot of time at Koinonia Coffee House and participates in its Friday Forums. "One of the things I like best is the community," she said.
The Mississippi Road Map to Health Equity is her host site for Food Corps. They have all sorts of other health initiatives happening. Check them out at http://www.jacksonroadmap.org
Inspiring. I hope Abigail finds much success and happiness in her journey in Mississippi. We are blessed to have her.