The Peoria City/County Health Department’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program has received a Gold Breastfeeding Award of Excellence from the Midwest Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS).
FNS recognized outstanding WIC agencies in the Midwest for the work they have done to strengthen breastfeeding programs in their communities. The recognition program is part of FNS's WIC Breastfeeding Awards of Excellence program. One hundred and twelve awards were handed out across the country, including nineteen in the Midwest Region.
"Through coalitions and community work, our WIC program strives to become a place where people know they can receive breastfeeding/chestfeeding support and assistance. Our peer counselors are part of the community they serve, and they build and maintain strong, meaningful relationships with families,” stated Michelle Compton, Child & Family Health Coordinator at the Peoria City/County Health Department.
“USDA established the award program to recognize local WIC agencies that have provided exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support to WIC moms,” said Dr. Vista Suarez Fletcher FNS Midwest Regional Administrator. "The intent is to provide models to help other WIC clinics strengthen their breastfeeding programs to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates nationwide.”
As August is National Breastfeeding Month, the Health Department is hosting a special event at Peoria Zoo on Friday, August 11, from 2-4 p.m. There is free zoo entry and a ticket for ice cream for the first 50 people, plus giveaways and local resources.