Jefferson County, CO — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today awarded the Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program with the Loving Support Gold Award of Excellence. JCPH’s WIC Program is one of only two local agencies in the state to have been recognized with this honor this year.
Timed with World Breastfeeding Week celebrated August 1-7, the USDA Loving Support Award of Excellence recognizes local WIC agencies for exemplary efforts in promoting and supporting breastfeeding among WIC mothers.
“Breastfeeding is a key part of the USDA’s WIC Program,” said Jane Brand, Division Director for the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Mountain Plains Region. “The Loving Support Award presented to Jefferson County WIC recognizes the stellar contribution of local agencies that provide breastfeeding programs and support services.”
WIC agencies that employ the USDA Loving Support Model for a successful peer counseling program were eligible to apply for the award, which considers their breastfeeding performance measures, effective peer counseling programs and community partnerships.
“Our secret to sustaining breastfeeding together is staff and community support,” said Kelsey Rivera, R.D., I.B.C.L.C., WIC Lactation Program Supervisor at JCPH. “We are so lucky to have great WIC staff, Peer Counselors and Public Health members that are so supportive of breastfeeding and understand the importance of support for our families.”
Breastfeeding significantly impacts the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies. Human milk provides the ideal balance of nutrients for an infant's growth and development, reduces the risk of infectious and chronic disease, protects mothers' and infants' health and may reduce the risk of childhood obesity. As a low-cost way of feeding babies, breastfeeding also has an impact on the health of the entire community and the world.
For information on the JCPH WIC Program and the valuable breastfeeding resources offered, contact Kelsey Rivera, R.D., I.B.C.L.C., at 303-239-7139 or [email protected]. You can also learn more about WIC Loving Support at https://lovingsupport.fns.usda.gov/.
Public Information Manager