Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news from Florida for working families since 2007

Florida/USA News

It's World Breastfeeding Week – The World Is Celebrating Beginning Today

Baby breastfeeding looking at mother with headline: August 1 begins world breast feeding week. This year's theme: step up ofr breast feeding
Fhoto: grisguerra via Pixabay |  Columbia County Observer graphic

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – World breastfeeding week begins today. It is a worldwide celebration of the benefits of breastfeeding.

This year’s theme, “Step Up For Breastfeeding,” has the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF calling on governments to educate and support increased resources to promote breastfeeding policies and programs throughout the world, “especially for the most vulnerable families living in emergency settings.”

Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Southeast Regional Office, announced Florida's WIC breastfeeding award of excellence winners.

The USDA press release explained that a major goal of WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) is to improve the health of babies and mothers through breastfeeding.

WIC serves about half of all babies born in America and “is uniquely positioned to help moms successfully breastfeed.”

USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) gave out almost 100 awards across the country, 24 in the Southeast region and 7 in Florida. 

The awards program was established to recognize local WIC agencies that have provided exemplary breastfeeding promotion and activities, with the intent to provide models and motivate other local agencies to strengthen their breastfeeding promotion and support activities.

The USDA’s goal is to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among WIC participants.

The award is given at three levels of performance that build on one another – Gold, Premiere, and Elite. In Florida, the following WIC Clinics are the recipients of the 2022 Gold Awards:

Bay County, Escambia County, Gadsden County WIC Program, Hendry Glades WIC, Jackson WIC Agency, Okeechobee County WIC, and Putnam County.

USDA FNS Southeast Regional Administrator Willie C. Taylor said, "We extend our heartfelt congratulations to this year's Breastfeeding Award of Excellence Winners, and we are thankful for their steadfast partnership efforts."

WIC serves to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age five who are at nutritional risk. WIC provides nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, including breastfeeding and support, and referrals to health care.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day. The USDA explained its mission and some recent policies of the agency.

USDA is transforming America's food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production. Enhanced focus ensures access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities. It builds new markets and income streams for farmers and producers using climate-smart food and forestry practices.

"USDA is making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America."

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