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Randolph Elkins WIC honored

ELKINS — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded the Randolph Elkins WIC Program in Elkins with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Loving Support Award of Excellence Gold Award for the second time for its exemplary efforts in supporting breastfeeding WIC mothers. These awards were are part of USDA’s National WIC Breastfeeding Week, celebrated Aug. 2-8.

“WIC serves millions of low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women and their young children,” said Patricia Dombroski, Food and Nutrition Service regional administrator. “We recognize the hard work and effort that occurs at the State and local levels to provide this important benefit to all WIC participants, and the Loving Support Award of Excellence celebrates local agencies that provide exemplary breastfeeding programs and support services.”

The Randolph Elkins breastfeeding staff received the award for their work as a creative and dedicated team who meet regularly to discuss their breastfeeding plans and outcomes. Their hard work and efforts to increase breastfeeding rates in their agency include a great deal of collaboration with their communities and outreach to their breastfeeding partners.

WIC agencies that have operated a peer counseling program for at least one year and meet all of the required core components of the WIC Breastfeeding Model for Peer Counseling, including recruited and hiring from WIC’s target population, and being available to WIC clients outside usual clinic hours, are eligible to apply for the award.

The award program was established to recognize local WIC agencies that have provided exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support activities. The intent is to highlight successful models and motivate other local agencies to strengthen their breastfeeding promotion and support activities and ultimately increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among WIC participants. Awards are given at three levels of performance: Gold, Gold Premiere, and Gold Elite.

The WIC Program serves to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant, postpartum, and breastfeeding women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating including breastfeeding promotion and support, and referrals to health care. More information about the WIC program can be found at www.fns.usda.gov/WIC.

In addition to WIC, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services administers several other programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which together comprise America’s nutrition safety net. For more information, visit www.fns.usda.gov.

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