The Loving Support Award of Excellence was developed to recognize and celebrate WIC agencies that provide exemplary breastfeeding programs and support services. The intent of the award is to provide models and motivate local agencies and clinics to strengthen their breastfeeding promotion and support activities and ultimately increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among WIC participants.
Local WIC agencies that have operated a peer counseling program for at least one year and met all of the required core components of the USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) Loving Support© Model for a successful peer counseling program were eligible to apply. Three levels of excellence were possible for award – Gold, Gold Premiere, and Gold Elite. The applications went through two levels of review with both the WIC State agency and the FNS Regional Office.
Applicants were required to demonstrate that they had breastfeeding promotion and support policies and processes in place at their WIC local agencies that enable them to provide praiseworthy breastfeeding services to WIC participants.
The BFED Text Program is now in its 6th continuous year! The project protocols and the educational texts (aka Message Tracks) have been replicated by dozens of WIC agencies across the country with several statewide deployments.
This award is indicative of just how effective texting has become with GenY moms as a primary communication channel. In fact, Santa Barbara county WIC now uses text for all their daily communication, since the vast majority of their caseload prefer text over all other channels.