Expectant and young families are invited to four Healthy Baby Festivals planned for three counties during July and August by Catholic Charities Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program. The free events offer activities for children and information for parents and run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at sites in Buffalo, Dunkirk, Jamestown and Niagara Falls.
Festival dates and locations are: Dunkirk in Washington Park on July 25; Buffalo in Delaware Park corner of Colvin Avenue and Amherst Street, July 28; Niagara Falls in Hyde Park at the splash pad, Aug. 2; and Jamestown in Allen Park's large pavilion near West Virginia Avenue, Aug 4.
Also featured will be games, face painting, crafts, educational resources, prizes and giveaways. The Buffalo and Niagara Falls' festivals will also include visits from characters from Paw Patrol, the Buffalo Zoomobile, and Movin' and Groovin'. Families are encouraged to pack a picnic lunch. At the Buffalo and Niagara Falls' events, the Salad Bar food truck sponsored by Independent Health will be on site with healthy food options for sale.
Catholic Charities WIC hosts the events in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week (Aug. 1-7), to raise awareness about the significance and benefits that breastfeeding provides.
The Healthy Baby Festivals will be supported by more than 50 local community agencies across the three counties, offering resources and activities.
All are encouraged to attend, especially expectant mothers, families and caregivers. Anyone interested in learning more about breastfeeding or in support of the importance of a healthy start for babies is welcome.
"Our Catholic Charities WIC Healthy Baby Festivals are great examples of our communities coming together to learn about the importance of breastfeeding for the long-term health of both baby and mother," said Katie Constantino, Catholic Charities WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator.
The events received support from the annual Catholic Charities Appeal. The Buffalo event is sponsored in part by the Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network, and the Dunkirk festival is sponsored by Brooks Memorial Hospital and Lake Erie Medical Services.
No registration is required. For more information, call (716) 218-1484 ext. 2411, or go to ccwny.org/calendar
Catholic Charities administers WIC in Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties. The program served more than 25,000 women and children up to the age of five in 20 locations in the three counties in 2016.
WIC offers nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, prenatal and postpartum support, referrals and supplemental food vouchers. WIC services are available through application to married or single parents, foster parents or other legal guardians of a child under five. All services offered are free of charge.
For more information about WIC, go to ccwny.org/wic, or call 716-218-1484.
Catholic Charities has helped individuals and families in need since its founding in 1923. That need is varied and widespread - from emergency assistance to counseling and from specialized services for the elderly to help with job training and education. Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, Catholic Charities delivers support to meet immediate needs, and then assess its clients for other needs to ensure long-term success.
Catholic Charities receives the highest-possible rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator for transparency and sound fiscal management and the highest ratings from the Council on Accreditation for quality service.
For further information about the organization and its services, contact Catholic Charities at (716) 856-4494 or go to ccwny.org. You can also check out Catholic Charities on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ccbuffalo
, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ccbuffalo
and on Instagram at Instagram.com/catholiccharitiesbuffalo.