News Briefs

WIC Breastfeeding Award of Excellence Winners Announced

At a virtual awards ceremony this morning, the Northeast Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced its Breastfeeding Award of Excellence winners. Lynn Community Health Center – North Shore WIC Program, in Lynn New achieved a Gold Award. 

Almost 100 awards were given cross the country, including 11 to WIC clinics in New York, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.  A major goal of WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) is to improve the health of babies and mothers through breastfeeding. “The awards program was established to recognize local WIC agencies that have provided exemplary breastfeeding promotion and activities,” said USDA FNS Northeast Regional Administrator Lizbeth Silbermann. “The intent is to provide 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.”

 Lynn Community Health Center – North Shore WIC Program, in Lynn

“Massachusetts WIC is proud of the North Shore WIC program for receiving the USDA’s WIC Breastfeeding Award of Excellence,” said Rachel Colchamiro, Massachusetts State WIC Director. “North Shore WIC staff are committed to providing families a variety of breastfeeding services. Throughout the pandemic, nutrition staff and peer counselors provided remote counseling and virtual Baby Café groups. Peer counselors have recently resumed visiting families at Salem Hospital.  We applaud North Shore WIC for its commitment to providing high-quality breastfeeding support to families and appreciate USDA’s recognition of their work.”

“As a WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, I am honored to be part of this award recognition.  Working with moms and babies to overcome any situation with breastfeeding and reaching their goals is very rewarding. I am truly thankful to everyone who is part of the North Shore WIC program, for the support of every idea we have and to put it into action.  I am truly grateful to be part of this award.” Rosa Barreto, WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor CLC CHBE

“We are happy to be receiving the Gold Breastfeeding Award.  Our program staff has worked diligently throughout the pandemic and formula shortage to promote breastfeeding and our moms are thriving!” Leanne Davis-Ickes, WIC Nutritionist, Breastfeeding Coordinator CLC

The following WIC Clinics are the northeast regional recipients of the 2022 Premiere and Gold Awards:

Premiere Award Winner

New York

The Society for the Protection and Care of Children WIC, Rochester

Gold Award Winners


Lynn Community Health Center – North Shore WIC Program, Lynn

New Hampshire

Community Action Program Belknap-Merrimack Counties, Inc., Concord

New York

Monroe County WIC, West Rochester

Cattaraugus County, Albany

Clinton County WIC Office, Plattsburgh

Livingston-Wyoming WIC, Mt. Morris

Long Island Federal Qualified Health Center Inc., Long Island

Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center, Mount Vernon

Tioga Opportunities, Inc. WIC, Owego

WIC of Columbia/Greene – Catholic Charities, Hudson

August is Breastfeeding Month and each year celebrations are held throughout the month highlighting the importance of breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for a baby’s first year of life. WIC serves about half of all babies born in the country and is uniquely positioned to help moms successfully breastfeed. In support of this awareness month, USDA FNS announces its Breastfeeding Award of Excellence winners.

WIC 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 WIC can be found at

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