Councilman Scott Benson to Honor “Business Champions for Babies” at Press Conference on November 17th
Dozens of Osborn Businesses To Be Recognized for Taking Pledge to Support Breastfeeding
Move Puts Osborn on Mark to Become Nation’s 1st “First Food Friendly” Community
Thursday, November 17th at 2:30 pm at Matrix Human Services, Room 203
Photo Credit: Robert Deane
Councilman Scott Benson will honor over a dozen local businesses that took a pledge to support healthier babies and moms in the Osborn neighborhood by welcoming breastfeeding moms in their establishments including posting “Breastfeeding is Welcome Here” signs. Various national studies show that concerns that breastfeeding in public is unwelcome in their community is a key barrier in achieving the six months of exclusive breastfeeding recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Exclusive breastfeeding provides unparalleled immunological benefits, reduces incidences of ear infections and the risk of Type 2 diabetes and has been linked to reduced childhood obesity. Mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of certain cancers. “When mothers stop breastfeeding because of fears of shaming or lack of support in the places they frequent every day, their infants miss out on important health benefits. No infant should lose access to the healthiest first food in life because of fears of nursing in public,” says Kimberly Seals Allers, a nationally recognized infant health advocate and director of the First Food Friendly Community Initiative (3FCI).
“We want the 3rd District to be a place for healthier mothers and babies, and supporting breastfeeding is an integral part of that goal,” says Councilman Scott Benson, who also took the pledge of support and signage for both his downtown and District offices. “Making the 3rd District First Food Friendly helps ensure healthy infants and supports my ongoing healthy breast initiative. I hope other districts will join us.”
The work of engaging Osborn businesses, including restaurants, child care centers, recreation centers, libraries and schools was conducted by seven passionate Detroit residents during a three-week, part-time, paid internship that is part of the 3FCI pilot project, which is creating a national accreditation process for breastfeeding supportive communities and is funded by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. The innovative initiative, which was also piloted in Philadelphia, first assessed community sentiment, then developed a proprietary curriculum and training that uses the experiential knowledge of local residents to help them develop local strategies to improve infant health. “We believe that community residents have the best knowledge and experiences to determine what will work best locally” says Kiddada Green, founding executive director of Detroit-based, Black Mothers Breastfeeding Association. “We use a BUFU approach—By Us, For Us,” says Green, who designed and created the 3FCI curriculum and training process used to prepare the interns for their community engagement work.
The Community Transformation Interns, recruited in partnership with the Neighborhood Service Organization’s (NSO) YouthLink program at the Harper-Gratiot Multi-Service Center, contacted over 100 establishments in the Osborn area during their internship, and secured nearly 50 various commitments. Councilman Benson will present their certificates following the presentation to businesses. To conclude the day, the interns are hosting a Community Baby Shower for eight local moms at 4:30.
Who: Councilman Scott Benson
What: Presents “Business Champions for Babies” Awards to local businesses and honors seven Detroit residents for their work to improve the Osborn neighborhood for mothers and babies.
When: Thursday, November 17, at 2:30
Where: Matrix Human Services, 13560 East McNichols, Detroit, Room 203
2:30 Reception (Interview Opps with Community Interns, local business leaders, 3FCI team members)
3:00 Business Champions for Babies Awards Presentation
3:30 Community Transformation Certificate Presentation
4:30 Community Baby Shower for Eight Local Moms