In face of potential statewide budget cuts, local Healthy Start Coalition receives $25,000 grant from the Greenfield Foundation for Postpartum Breastfeeding Support
Sarasota, FL – In the face of potential statewide budget cuts, the Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County, Inc. was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the Greenfield Foundation, to fund postpartum breastfeeding support for 250 new moms.
The first few days after a baby is born are crucial in establishing a successful breastfeeding relationship. For moms who are struggling, one visit from a Certified Lactation Counselor can mean the difference between continuing to breastfeed and giving up entirely. Due to statewide changes in Healthy Start’s contracts and the resulting cut in funding to breastfeeding services, we were in jeopardy of losing this vital service. But thanks to the Greenfield Foundation’s financial support we can continue to help moms and babies who are at-risk with breastfeeding support.
While Healthy Start works with many local organizations and groups that provide a variety of breastfeeding support services to ensure a wide-reaching net of care for breastfeeding mothers, Healthy Start is in a unique position to provide free support that is available in the family’s home immediately after the baby is born. Many moms fall through the cracks after they leave the hospital or birthing center and need support but are unable to travel due to medical restriction after giving birth or other challenges that arise postpartum. Healthy Start fills this gap and provides support and resources for moms to establish a strong breastfeeding relationship.
The Greenfield Foundation, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, funds charitable initiatives devoted to improving quality of life. “The Greenfield Foundation is excited to partner with Healthy Start Sarasota to support women who choose to breastfeed and initiate a more healthy, positive community,” said Jill Greenfield Feldman, President of the Greenfield Foundation.
“The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County is grateful to the Greenfield Foundation for this grant,” says Executive Director, Shon Ewens. “Breastfeeding support in early postpartum is essential for a struggling new mom. Without this funding, our opportunity to provide breastfeeding support services at this critical time would be in jeopardy.”
This funding could not be timelier. Healthy Start Coalitions across the state are facing a $19-million-dollar budget cut from the Florida Senate. If the proposed budget passes, Healthy Start would lose 29% percent of its budget forcing deep cuts and stripping services. In Sarasota that would mean we could serve half as many moms and babies.
The Healthy Start Program provides services to approximately 2,700 moms and babies each year in Sarasota County, and served almost 700 individuals with one-on-one specialized breastfeeding support. Other services provided by the program include case coordination, education, referrals for specialized services, assistance getting needed supplies, and more. All services provided by Healthy Start are free, confidential, and professional. For more information about the program and all of The Healthy Start Coalition’s services, please visit healthystartsarasota.org.