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UM’s National Food Service Management Changes Name

ICN at Ole Miss 1After 25 years, the National Food Service Management Institute (NFSMI) at Ole Miss has changed its name to the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN). The change has provided ICN with a brand and image that better represents its mission and service to child nutrition professionals.

The institute is the only federally funded national center dedicated to providing resources, training, research and technical assistance for child nutrition programs.

Aleshia Hall-Campbell, Ph.D., M.P.H., acting Executive Director for ICN, said when the national Institute was established in 1989, the original name fit the “school food service” platform of the Institute. Today, Hall- Campbell said school food service and child care nutrition are most associated with the term “child nutrition industry” and the name change was necessary.

“Changing our name to the Institute of Child Nutrition provides an easily recognizable image and brand for our work and resources,” Hall-Campbell said.

The institute is a part of The University of Mississippi’s School of Applied Sciences, and the Applied Research Division is at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. According to Hall-Campbell, the mission of ICN is to “provide information and services that promote the continuous improvement of child nutrition programs.”

“ICN serves anyone connected with child nutrition programs: school lunch, school breakfast, summer food service and the child and adult care food program,” Hall-Campbell said. “Working with USDA headquarters in D.C., USDA Regional Offices, various allied organizations, State Agencies, and other entities, ICN reaches thousands of people each year.”

Last year, ICN at Ole Miss reached 9,560 child nutrition professionals in 44 states and Guam, and provided 302 training sessions around the country- not including the conferences and free material on its website.

ICN at Ole Miss

What does ICN do nationally?

  • ICN’s director, and other staff members, work directly with the White House on the First Lady’s Chefs Move to Schools initiative and recently participated in an event at the White House.
  • In fall 2014, the US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, asked the Institute to develop and expand the Team Up for School Nutrition Success workshops throughout the seven USDA Regions.  Following a successful launch of the regional program, an expansion into all states is underway now.  To date, this initiative has reached over 3,500 school nutrition directors.
  • ICN’s former Executive Director, Dr. Katie Wilson, received a Presidential appointment in May 2015 as the Deputy Under Secretary of the USDA Food and Nutrition Services.
  • ICN’s Child Nutrition Archives, which houses artifacts, photos, oral histories, etc. has been invited to provide a display at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Missouri for the anniversary of the museum.
  • ICN partners with allied organizations such as Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Share Our Strength, National Dairy Council-Fuel Up to Play 60, Culinary Institute of America, and others to promote and share resources aimed at improving child nutrition.

For more information about the Institute of Child Nutrition, visit www.theicn.org.


Emily Newton is a staff writer for hottytoddy.com and the editor of Experience Oxford magazine. She can be reached at emily.newton@hottytoddy.com.

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