|CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Benton County Women Infants and Children Program (WIC) has earned a performance award that comes with additional funding for breastfeeding awareness-related projects in the county.|
The Breastfeeding Performance Award will be presented to local staff members at the regular Benton County Board of Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, June 5. Benton County’s award is part of the Breastfeeding Performance Bonus awarded to the Oregon Nutrition and Screening Program for WIC, and Oregon Health Authority is one of six WIC agencies nationwide to receive the award for highest breastfeeding rates in 2011.
“The WIC Program plans to use the additional funding for supplies, equipment and training that supports breastfeeding women and their babies in Benton County,” Benton County Health Department WIC Coordinator Kelly Volkmann said.
This is the first time the awards have focused on the number of WIC mothers who exclusively breastfed their babies for six months, using no formula, water or other foods. This has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics since 1997 and results in positive health impacts. Breastfeeding is healthier for the child – reducing incidence of infections, asthma and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – and for the mother, lowering rates of breast and ovarian cancer. Because breastfeeding requires no food preparation, it is more economical, convenient and affordable for families.
“Oregon WIC’s high breastfeeding rates are really a reflection of the efforts that local agency staff makes every day working directly with breastfeeding mothers and babies,” Oregon State WIC Director Sue Woodbury said. “We are giving the Benton County WIC Program bonus funding and a certificate of recognition for their ongoing efforts to support breastfeeding families.”
Over the past 12 months, Benton County has demonstrated positive performance in serving WIC clients and is expected to exceed 100 percent of its current assigned caseload in that area. Based on that positive performance, the county will receive an increase in the assigned caseload, along with Nutrition Services Administration funding. For more information about WIC, those interested can go online to http://www.co.benton.or.us or http://www.healthoregon.org/WIC, or call 541-766-6835.