Albany County WIC Clinic has become the sole recipient nationally this year of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Breastfeeding Awards of Excellence Elite Award.

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In observance of 2021 World Breastfeeding Week, which is taking place between August 1-7, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in announcing the winners of its 2021 WIC Breastfeeding Awards of Excellence.

Across the country, USDA is awarding 101 awards – 90 Gold, 10 Premiere, and one Elite, with Albany County receiving the highest award in the country.

One of the key factors that distinguished Albany County is its high breastfeeding rates. At the time of application, 43 percent of the women in their program were exclusively breastfeeding. Another factor is the strength of their partnerships in the community.

Albany County WIC has a total of 385 participants enrolled in the program, with 77 working with the breastfeeding peer counselor.

WIC is regarded as one of the leading public health programs because of its many strengths:

  • Local, state, and Federal staff fight for breastfeeding rights; providing training and guidance; collecting data; and collaborating with other agencies, departments, and organizations.
  • WIC ensures at-risk families are supported from the time a pregnant woman enrolls in the program until that child turns five.
  • Local agency staff and participants build relationships that allow societal inequities to be addressed and equalized.
  • WIC is also one of the most powerful public health interventions available to reduce stark racial disparities in maternal and child health outcomes.

KEEP READING: Here are the most popular baby names in every state

Using March 2019 data from the Social Security Administration, Stacker compiled a list of the most popular names in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C., according to their 2018 SSA rankings. The top five boy names and top five girl names are listed for each state, as well as the number of babies born in 2018 with that name. Historically common names like Michael only made the top five in three states, while the less common name Harper ranks in the top five for 22 states.

Curious what names are trending in your home state? Keep reading to see if your name made the top five -- or to find inspiration for naming your baby.