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Friday, June 15, 2012

Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association receives grant to help eliminate breastfeeding disparities in African American families

Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association receives grant to help eliminate breastfeeding disparities in African American families

DETROIT - Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA) has received a $100,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The funds will be used to enhance services available to eliminate breastfeeding disparities for African American families in Detroit by strengthening BMBFA’s organizational capacity. The funding period begins on July 1, 2012 and ends on June 30, 2013. 

This project is important and unique because it focuses on concentrating services on those children who are less likely to receive the ‘first food’ - breast milk. In Michigan, only 50.9% of black children ever receive breast milk as compared to 68.5% of white children. By strengthening organizational capacity, BMBFA will be able to serve and support more families in choosing to breastfeed.

“We want to restore the emotional, psychological and physical health of our community by reclaiming an African tradition of breastfeeding,” says Kiddada Green, founding director of BMBFA. Since 2007, BMBFA has strived to increase the number of black mothers who breastfeed and the amount of time spent doing so. BMBFA is the only organization of its kind in the state of Michigan. 

So what’s the big deal? Why is breast milk so important to African Americans? African Americans have the lowest breastfeeding rates in the U.S. Yet, they are hit hardest by health problems that breastfeeding protects against: diabetes, obesity, heart disease, asthma and allergies - just to name a few. Building the capacity of BMBFA will help to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates of African Americans.

Capacity building will focus on several areas, including:
Maintaining and expanding the Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Club , a mother-to-mother monthly support group that helps mothers build a network of peer supporters and begin and sustain breastfeeding efforts.
Building and strengthening community collaborations with local and national organizations that share a common interest in supporting breastfeeding. 

The specific outcomes for this project are to expand and broaden the current work of BMBFA, while building the capacity needed for long-term, self-sustainability of the organization.  Many health benefits for vulnerable women, infants and communities will result from the ongoing services that BMBFA will provide to the community.
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The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. 

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit  

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