by Rose Caldwell
Catholic Charities Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program is hosting a Healthy Baby Festival for the first time in Chautauqua County. The free event for families is set for 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 5 in Washington Park, Washington Avenue and Fifth Street, Dunkirk.
The festival, which includes joining in a worldwide nursing event, is designed to raise awareness around the benefits and significance of breastfeeding. The festival takes place during World Breastfeeding Week (Aug. 1-7) and helps to create community support for friends, family and others who are or may be considering breastfeeding, or who have breastfed.
The event will be held annually and features prizes and giveaways, entertainment for children and educational displays. Moms are invited to participate in the “Global Big Latch On,” a worldwide nursing event, at 10:30 a.m.
Face painting, Movin’ and Groovin’ and a soccer play area by Soccer Shots are activities planned for children.
All are encouraged to attend, especially expecting mothers, families and caregivers. Anyone interested in learning more about breastfeeding or in support of the importance of a healthy start for babies are welcome.
“Our Catholic Charities WIC Healthy Baby Festivals are great examples of our entire community coming together to learn about the importance of breastfeeding for the long-term health of both the baby and mother,” said Katie Constantino, Catholic Charities WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator.
The event is funded by a generous grant from Brooks Memorial Hospital.
No registration is required for participation in the event. For more information, call Grace at (716) 218-1484, ext. 2207.
Catholic Charities began administering the federally funded WIC program in Chautauqua County in October 2015. Sites are located in Dunkirk, Jamestown, Westfield, Silver Creek and Sherman. For information or an appointment call 218-1484.
Catholic Charities also administers WIC programs in Erie and Niagara countries. The program served more than 26,000 women and children up to the age of five in 20 locations in the three counties in 2015.
WIC offers nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, prenatal and postpartum support, referrals and supplemental food vouchers. WIC services are available through application to married or single parents, foster parents or other legal guardians of a child under five. All services offered are free of charge.
For more information about WIC, go to ccwny.org/wic, or for information on any other Catholic Charities service, go to ccwny.org.
As the most comprehensive human service provider in Western New York, Catholic Charities served nearly 132,000 people in need in 2015. For 93 years, Catholic Charities has been making a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity in Western New York. Catholic Charities empowers individuals, children and families to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. Catholic Charities is an excellent steward of the contributions it receives, attaining the highest rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator and the 2015 Torch Award for Philanthropic Excellence from the Better Business Bureau Foundation of Upstate New York. The agency also receives highest ratings from the Council on Accreditation for quality service.