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Mini-Grants Support Businesses in Becoming “Breastfeeding Friendly”

Mar 21, 2018 05:30AM ● Published by Editor

Mini-Grants Support Businesses in Becoming “Breastfeeding Friendly”

The benefits of breastfeeding are extensive.  Breastfed babies received added immunity from many illnesses, such as asthma, ear infections, and diabetes.  Mothers that breastfeed have lower rates of diabetes, heart disease, and breast and ovarian cancer.  But, did you know that breastfeeding benefits workplaces, too? 

Becoming a breastfeeding supportive business delivers a 3:1 return on investment through lower health care costs, lower employee absenteeism rates (when babies are healthier, parents miss less work), lower employee turnover rates, higher employee productivity, and increased employee loyalty (More info at: womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/employer-solutions).

To help local businesses support their breastfeeding employees, Healthy Northland is accepting applications for $1,500 breastfeeding mini-grants.  These funds will support worksites in the seven-county Arrowhead Region in becoming “Breastfeeding Friendly.”  

The mini-grants will be awarded to individual worksites to cover costs of creating or enhancing a lactation space where mothers can express breastmilk.  Applications are due by April 13, 2018 and chosen worksites will be notified by April 27, 2018.  Worksites must spend all mini-grant funds before June 30, 2018.  Funded applicants will be reimbursed for projects after receipts have been submitted.  

A 10% match is required and can include staff time. Preference will be given to worksites with an existing breastfeeding policy and worksites willing to apply to the Minnesota Department of Health to become a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace.  The grant funds can be used for expenses such as:  chairs/rockers, tables, bulletin boards, or lamps for a lactation space; small refrigerator for breastmilk; breast pumps; and signage.

The application is available online at https://goo.gl/forms/eAoNGUkS4I2BsauC2.

The local SHIP coordinators at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic (Hartley Newell-Acero and Maren Webb) are available to help connect interested workplaces to the resources they need.  Contact them with questions or to schedule a time to see the lactation room at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic.  Email hartley@sawtoothmountainclinic.org or maren@sawtoothmountainclinic.org or call 218-387-2330. 

 

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