Pictured from left to right is Joyce Kelly Chair, NH Breastfeeding Taskforce, Joleen Welford, Director of Employee Relations at LRCS, Dr. Amanda Hickey of Keene State College, and Dr. Meg Henning of Keene State College.

Lakes Region Community Services (LRCS) has been awarded a $4500 mini-grant to create a lactation room for working mothers of infants at its main office building in downtown Laconia.

The lactation project – an effort to improve workplace breastfeeding policies – is being led by Keene State College’s Public Health faculty in cooperation with the NH Department of Health and Human Services with funding from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. LRCS was one of 12 businesses across the state of New Hampshire to receive grant support through the program this year.

LRCS plans to match the grant money awarded to them to build a new lactation room and continue ongoing efforts to make the organization friendlier to working mothers. The room will be available to employees and mothers who participate in the childcare classes offered by the LRCS Family Resource Center. The private room will include comfortable, relaxing furniture, mini-fridge, storage, and sink area.

Joleen Welford, Director of Employee Relations for LRCS, underscores the value of this grant for Lakes Region Community Services: “LRCS works hard to ensure that its employment policies and practices reflect its values of dignity and inclusiveness, and of family-centered supports. This grant gives us an added opportunity to strongly signal to working mothers that they are valued and supported in trying to simultaneously raise healthy children while also working.”

“We believe strong families lead to healthy communities. And healthy communities support strong families. It’s a virtuous cycle that we believe in investing in,” noted LRCS President and CEO, Becky Bryant. “This grant gives us one more way to express that, and we’re delighted to be able to make these improvements to our office space in support of working moms.”