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WIC Breastfeeding Award of Excellence

The 2023 application period opens on October 17, 2022 and closes on December 22, 2022.

Application eligibility:

  • Must be a local WIC agency*
  • Must have operated a peer counseling program for at least 1 year
  • Peer counseling program must meet all required core components of the FNS WIC Breastfeeding Model for Peer Counseling for a successful peer counseling program.

*Local WIC agencies designated by State WIC agencies on WIC Breastfeeding Data Local Agency Report and Form FNS–648.

Background

The award program will recognize exemplary local WIC breastfeeding programs, provide models to motivate other agencies to strengthen their breastfeeding promotion and support activities, with the goal to ultimately increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates among WIC participants.

Recognition will be given at 3 levels of performance:

  • Gold Award
  • Premiere Award (mid-level)
  • Elite Award (highest level award)

Local WIC agencies may apply for any award level and will receive the highest eligible award based on the criteria as noted in the application requirements. The application is a series of yes and no questions. Some questions in this application require additional documents.

Gold Award Questions

The Gold Award application has a total of 30 questions. In order to be eligible for any level of award, applicants must fulfill the criteria for all the Gold Award questions.  The Gold Award questions are criteria identified as best practices, which demonstrate excellence in breastfeeding practices and support, and relate to practices beyond the core components of the WIC Breastfeeding Model for Peer Counseling. An applicant may fill out the Gold award application and choose not to complete the combined application for the Premiere and Elite awards.

Premiere and Elite Award Questions

The Premiere and Elite application is a combined application and has 16 questions. The Premiere and Elite questions are each worth 2 or 3 points. The questions for these higher level awards are criteria identified as exemplary practices that are deserving of the highest recognition of excellence.

  • Performance data
    The performance data considered is the rate of exclusively breastfed infants reported by local WIC agencies and published annually on the FNS website. Applicant does not submit performance data, however, the application should be aware of the rate of exclusively breastfed infants in their local agency. Performance data is required for the Premiere and Elite Awards. Evaluators will use the most recent data posted on the FNS website.

Prior Awardees

All Awards are valid for 4 years. When applying for a Premiere or Elite award with a valid Gold certificate, the Gold application does not have to be completely redone to apply to the Premiere and Elite application. Use the Awardee List  to confirm the year your local agency received an award. You will need to know the year to proceed with the Premiere and Elite application. At the bottom of this page, start at the Premiere and Elite Application. Select the check box beside “ Have you completed the Gold Award application and documentation?” to skip directly to the Premiere and Elite Application.

If you have not received a Gold award in the past 4 years, you MUST complete the Gold application with supportive documentation to be considered for any award.

Returning Applicants

If you have started or finished an application, you can log in to access the application.

Application Requirements

Gold Award

  • All Gold Award application questions (30 points) must be answered “yes” to be eligible.
  • Eight of the 30 questions require you to add additional documentation to support your response.
  • Performance data is not considered.

Premiere Award

  • Applicants must have a current Gold Award or apply and be awarded a Gold Award for this application year AND
  • Additional 20 points from the Premiere and Elite application in each of the 3 sections:
    • a minimum of 12 points from the Peer Counseling section,
    • a minimum of 4 points from the Partnership section,
    • a minimum of 4 points from the Other Criteria section
  • PLUS performance data of either:
    • the rate of fully breastfed infants is at least 15% or higher in the previous year of published data, and the most recently published year of data shows an increase over the previous year
      OR
    • the rate of fully breastfed infants is at least 25% or higher in the most recently published year of data

Elite Award

  • Applicants must have a current Gold Award or apply and be awarded a Gold Award for this application year AND
  • ALL the Premiere and Elite application questions are answered “yes” (36 points) AND
  • Performance data demonstrates 40% or higher of the infants are fully breastfed.

Documentation

There are two types of document requests, a narrative and supportive documentation:

  • Narrative refers to a document with explanatory statements that have been written exclusively for the purpose of this application. The narrative should describe how your agency meets the criteria of a specific question as noted in the instructions. Narratives are between 200 and 500 words.
  • Supportive documentation refers to documents that already exist. The preferred source of documentation are locally developed policies, procedures, MOU’s, etc.; however, State and Federal documentation is also acceptable. You may submit these documents to demonstrate your agency meets the criteria of a specific question as noted in the instructions for that question.

National WIC Breastfeeding Week Infographic

 

To download:

  • Right-click on the image below and select "Save image as...".
  • Once downloaded, share with participants and on social media for National WIC Breastfeeding Week...and all year long!

Find more social media messages for National WIC Breastfeeding Week on the WIC Breastfeeding Support website.

 

National WIC Breastfeeding Week Infographic Page One
National WIC Breastfeeding Week Infographic Page 2

 

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