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Geary County Health Department Increases Food Access & Breastfeeding Support

By Geary County WIC

Geary County created this poster to highlight their local work promoting breastfeeding and healthy food access during the CPHMC project. This poster was presented at NWA’s Annual Conference in May 2016.

Geary County (GC), Kansas is made up of a diverse population with unique characteristics, such as close proximity to a military post, rural areas, & a highly transient population. The county covers 404 mi2 with a population of 37,000; the majority of residents live in one town. Nearly 1 in 4 children & 1 in 5 adults in GC suffer from food insecurity (Feeding America, 2015). Although almost 70% of GC residents are eligible to receive SNAP, only 10% participate. The majority of GC is designated as a “food desert”, despite three grocery stores serving the county. Results of a 2012 Community Health Assessment indicated that the community felt there was a lack of available & affordable healthy foods. Geary County WIC responded to these issues with a multi-pronged approach founded upon coalitions & partnerships. In 2010, statistics revealed the infant mortality was 10.4 per 1000 live births (national rate=6.1/1000) & increased rates of SIDS, smoking, & obesity rates (KDHE, 2010). Additionally, about 75% of GC women initiated breastfeeding (BF) (KDHE, 2010). This met national standards, but sharply declined in the following weeks. With a one-year, multi-pronged approach, Geary County aimed to increase access to healthy foods & prevent chronic disease through community linkages. It was initially estimated that almost 90% & 45% of the population would be reached by the food access & community linkage initiatives, respectively. There were two primary project goals: increase access to healthy foods and improve local breastfeeding education and support.

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Date Added
December 4, 2017

Geary County WIC (2016) Geary County Health Department Increases Food Access & Breastfeeding Support. Available online: https://thewichub.sfo2.digitaloceanspaces.com/2017/10/Geary-County-Poster-FINAL.pdf