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USDA Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week, Awards Programs That Support WIC Moms

Posted by Sarah Widor, Director, Supplemental Food Programs Division, Food and Nutrition Service in Food and Nutrition
Jul 31, 2017
A woman breastfeeding in a chair with another woman beside her
USDA developed the Loving Support Award of Excellence to recognize and celebrate local agencies that provide exemplary breastfeeding programs and support services.

USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, popularly known as WIC, is once again celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7. This year’s theme is Sustaining Breastfeeding Together, emphasizing the importance of family and community support for breastfeeding women.

And important it is. In fact, thanks to that support along with the dedication and efforts of WIC staff, WIC breastfeeding initiation rates have been steadily rising. We now have two out of three WIC moms initiating breastfeeding.

WIC promotes and supports breastfeeding among WIC moms through counseling and educational materials and mother-to-mother peer counseling. The program also provides healthy food packages and referrals to other needed health and social services.  USDA’s national breastfeeding promotion campaign, Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work, highlights how family, friends, the health care system and the community are essential for a mom to reach her breastfeeding goals.

As part of the celebration for World Breastfeeding Week, 90 WIC local agencies will receive Loving Support Awards of Excellence. These awards recognize exemplary local WIC breastfeeding programs, as well as highlight models to motivate other agencies to strengthen their breastfeeding promotion and support activities.

Six state agencies which have achieved the greatest improvement in their breastfeeding rates will receive a breastfeeding performance bonus award.

At WIC, breastfeeding promotion and support are a key part of our mission. If you are interested in learning more about WIC breastfeeding resources, including a social media toolkit to use during World Breastfeeding Week, visit WIC’s Loving Support web site.

Category/Topic: Food and Nutrition