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We are thrilled to announce that Nurture has received a Healthy Communities Action Team grant from the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth to support the continued work of #RVAbreastfeeds. The three-year, $90,000 grant will begin July 1, 2020.

Over the past six years, #RVAbreastfeeds has developed an extensive network of relationships and a reputation for accomplishing a lot with little. For the 2020 to 2023 grant cycle we will leverage this foundation to seek the Breastfeeding Family Friendly Community (BFFC) designation as outlined in the 10-step framework developed by Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute for the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. This framework is currently being piloted in North Carolina.

Galvanizing support by launching a big, bold, and brave initiative that aligns with national and international breastfeeding recommendations, we will continue #RVAbreastfeeds activities that align with the 10 Steps, such as positive social media messaging, Breastfeeding Welcome Here outreach to local businesses, and providing evidence-based lactation education for community members and care providers.

Then, implementing a grassroots to treetops approach, we will reach out to local elected officials and health department leaders to secure support for the BFFC designation, recruit key champions to assume leadership for components of the BFFC 10 Steps framework, and develop a 3-year strategic plan for the BFFC initiative, including developing lactation guidelines for public schools.

In seeking the grant, some of the preliminary work has already begun. For example, we have already met with Richmond City Health District leadership to discuss development of lactation policies for parents whose children attend public schools. This was the direct result of local parents reaching out to us to share their stories of discrimination by public school staff for breastfeeding on school grounds.

Partners for the upcoming grant cycle include Nurture, VCU Health CenteringPregnancy®, Richmond City Health District, Richmond City WIC, Richmond Resource Mothers, the Virginia Department of Health, Birth In Color RVA, Cbe Consulting, and several community members who are breastfeeding parents.

If you are interested in becoming a part of this initiative, please email info@nurtureRVA.org. You will be added to the #RVAbreastfeeds coalition mailing list to keep you in the loop as we begin planning.  We will likely be hosting a retreat to do some strategic planning in the Spring of 2020.

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