About the Institute of Child Nutrition
The Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN), part of the School of Applied Sciences at The University of Mississippi, is the only federally funded national center dedicated to applied research, education and training, and technical assistance for child nutrition programs. The Institute was established by Congress in the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 1989. It is funded by a grant administered through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The specific duties of the Institute can be found in Section 21 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. The Institute’s mission is to provide information and services that promote the continuous improvement of child nutrition programs.
As a national center, the Institute provides information, conducts applied research, and offers training and education opportunities using appropriate technology.
The Education and Training division of ICN is a trusted source for accurate, reliable information. The ET division coordinates and develops face-to-face and on-site training seminars at little or no cost and free online courses designed to support the professional development of child nutrition program and child care personnel at all levels of responsibility.
The Information Services Division (ISD) is responsible for facilitating the distribution and overseeing the safekeeping of all institutional information for the Institute of Child Nutrition (ICN). This includes the distribution of ICN content via a variety of technology platforms; meeting all technology needs of the organization, including technology support for ICN staff and customers; and ensuring information security and technology sustainability throughout the organization. ISD encompasses ICN Technical Support and Helpdesk, the ICN Clearinghouse, and the National Child Nutrition Archives.
The Administration Division is responsible for the financial and compliance oversight of all grants, cooperative agreements, and other sponsored programs. The division serves ICN staff by providing financial, administrative, and marketing support services for the business aspects of the Institute. Members of this division are responsible for the departmental budget, contractual agreements, resource management, personnel functions, consultant and staff travel logistics, preparation and delivery of budgets and reports, implementation and oversight of vendor contracts, memorandums of understanding with allied organizations, procurement of supplies and providing staff training on administrative matters.
The Applied Research Division conducts comprehensive, needs-based studies that focus on areas that directly impact the success of child nutrition programs. The Institute’s research has been used by state agencies to set standards for program professionals and design training programs and materials, which has been used to support the certification and credentialing program for the School Nutrition Association (SNA).