Each year the Food and Nutrition Service, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children announces the WIC Breastfeeding Award of Excellence program, formerly known as the Loving Support Award of Excellence. The award program was established to recognize local WIC agencies that have provided exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support activities. 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.
The award is given at three levels of performance that build on one another: Gold, Premiere, and Elite. This approach recognizes three groups of agencies that include those that are demonstrating model practices, as well as those who are at varying stages of implementing exemplary breastfeeding promotion and support practices.
- In 2021 FNS awarded WIC Breastfeeding Award to 102 WIC local agencies: 90 Gold, including 1 Indian Tribal Organization, and 11 Premiere and 1 Elite.
- In 2020 FNS awarded WIC Breastfeeding Award to 111 WIC local agencies: 99 Gold, including 3 Indian Tribal Organizations, and 12 Premiere.
- In 2019 FNS awarded 100 WIC local agencies: 84 Gold, including 1 Indian Tribal Organization, and 16 Premiere.
- In 2018 FNS awarded 90 certificates: 78 Gold and 12 Premiere.
- In 2017 FNS awarded 90 certificates: 83 Gold, including 5 Indian Tribal Organizations, 6 Premiere and 1 Elite.
- In 2016 FNS awarded 83 certificates: 75 Gold and 8 Premiere.
- In 2015 FNS awarded 55 certificates: 50 Gold and 5 Premiere.