MANHATTAN, Kansas. (August 9, 2022) – The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition (KBC), with support from the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, awarded $8,000 in educational scholarships to support Latinx, Black, and Indigenous individuals to provide lactation support in their communities. Over the past three years, the KBC has awarded 22 scholarships to aspiring lactation support providers of color.
We have made great strides in Kansas with nearly 90% of families choosing to breastfeed. Yet, breastfeeding rates amongst our communities of color are 9% lower than the state average. There should not be gaps in breastfeeding rates between racial and ethnic groups. We are all Kansans.
The KBC is committed to addressing racial disparities in breastfeeding by identifying, encouraging, and supporting breastfeeding advocates in new and innovative ways. In alignment with this goal, the KBC is pleased to award $8,000 in scholarships to support aspiring Latinx (4), Black (3), and Indigenous (1) lactation support providers in Southwest Kansas (3), Kansas City (2), Topeka (2), and Wichita (1).
These scholars provided written statements sharing their vision and passion for helping diverse families. They have demonstrated their commitment to supporting these communities by seeking to further their education in the lactation field.
“Breastfeeding is important for the health and wellbeing of both the parent and the child. We are excited to work with these individuals to build a diverse lactation support workforce so families in Kansas can receive culturally congruent care,” said Stephanne Rupnicki, Chair of the KBC Board of Directors and Co-Founder of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Breastfeeding Coalition.
The KBC will continue to support these scholarship recipients in the pursuit of their goals. The KBC hopes to find more ways to contribute to equity in breastfeeding for all Kansans.
The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition is a non-profit organization working collaboratively to promote, support, and protect breastfeeding in order to improve the health and wellbeing of Kansas families.
If you’d like more information about this topic or would like to schedule an interview with Jennie Toland, KBC Co-Executive Director, call (620) 255-5344 or email email@example.com