As part of its mission to safeguard the health of its target audience, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has a long history of providing, nutrition education, including breastfeeding promotion and support, in addition to supplemental foods and referrals to social and health care services for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to 5 years, who are at nutritional risk. Nutrition education is the benefit that sets WIC apart from other federal nutrition assistance programs. WIC promotes breastfeeding as the normative standard for infant feeding and nutrition, unless medically contraindicated. Collective findings of studies confirm that the Program is cost effective in protecting and improving the health and nutritional status of its participants. Through the Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work national campaign, WIC has made great strides in improving breastfeeding rates, and breastfeeding promotion and support remains a priority for WIC to help safeguard the health and nutrition of all program participants.
The peer counseling training curricula for WIC managers and staff are important to strengthen and build sustainable breastfeeding peer counseling programs in all WIC clinics through the implementation of the Loving Support Model. Peer counselors are crucial in providing participant-centered breastfeeding support and education to prenatal and postpartum WIC mothers. More information regarding the WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program can be accessed at https://wicworks.fns.usda.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-peer-counseling.
At the Federal level, the USDA-FNS administers the WIC program. At the State level, 90 WIC state agencies operate 1,900 local agencies in 10,000 clinic sites. The Program is operated in all 50 States, 34 Indian Tribal Organizations, the District of Columbia, and five territories (Northern Mariana, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands).
The SNEB 50th Annual Conference begins with Pre-Conference sessions and the opening Golden Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, July 20, with the opening keynote on Friday, July 21. The final Conference session is on Sunday, July 23 at 5:15 p.m. with Post-Conference activities to follow on Monday, July 24.