CWA Flash E-Newsletter - October 16, 2019
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October: Domestic Violence Prevention Month  
Domestic/intimate partner violence (IPV) is a pervasive problem in virtually all countries, cultures, classes and income groups. WIC Can Help end the cycle of domestic violence by becoming familiar with and using resources to ensure families get the help they need. 
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Holiday Treats for Everyone!  
 Halloween is just around the corner. Have you heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project? Help raise awareness about food allergies through the addition of non-food trinkets and toys to your treats, making Halloween safer and more inclusive for all trick or treaters. 
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Public Charge Update: Temporarily Blocked!  
Yesterday is the day the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) public charge rule was supposed to go into effect. As of last night, Federal Judges have issued 5 preliminary injunctions, including nationwide injunctions from courts in New York, Washington and Maryland. These actions temporarily block the rule. This is a huge victory for immigrant families. The legal fight will continue, but for now, the public charge rules in the United States have not changed. Families should continue to receive important nutrition and healthcare services. Check the Protecting Immigrant Families updates and resources and CWA's materials for posting in local agencies. 
Yet Another USDA Attack on SNAP
Last week, USDA published the third proposed rule this year that would limit access to SNAP benefits. This proposed rule will remove discretion from state agencies to set utility allowances - which deducts certain expenses from the gross income test used to calculate SNAP eligibility. As a result of the loss of discretion, USDA claims that it will be harder for participants to access SNAP in at least 29 states. The proposal would reduce benefits by an estimated $4.5 billion over five years, and joins proposals to limit the amount of time adults without dependents can utilize SNAP and roll back SNAP's categorical eligibility provisions, which make it easier to certify for both SNAP and school meals. Comments on this new proposal are due by December 2.
CA Legislative Season Wrap-Up  
Gov. Newsom has wrapped up the 2019 legislative session by signing or vetoing hundreds of bills sent to him. Several bills on CWA's Bill Monitor were signed into law, including SB 464 (Mitchell), aimed at reducing racial disparities in maternal mortality, and SB 142 (Wiener), which expands and strengthens California's lactation accommodation policy and AB 752 (Gabriel) which requires lactation accommodation in transit centers. Other bills on CWA's list were not signed, but were addressed administratively. ACTION: For the complete list, see the CWA bill list. 
CWA News
WIC Works Webinars
NWA webinar series provides opportunities to learn about strategies to maximize WIC participation and issues relevant to providing WIC services. CWA has partnered with NWA for four webinars this fall. Register below and mark your calendars for Thursdays, 12-1pmPT/3-4pmET. These webinars will feature examples from CA and valuable information from NWA.
  • TeleWIC: Providing Services in New Ways webinar on Oct. 17. Use of videoconferencing to provide WIC services is of growing interest as a better way to meet participants' needs. We will hear from two agencies serving frontier and rural areas of California about their learning process and advice for other agencies considering, or in the process of, adopting the technology.
  • Challenges and Strategies for Retaining and Developing the WIC Workforce webinar on Oct. 31. Much is in play for the WIC workforce for the coming years. Masters requirements for RDs, student debt, and competing salaries are challenges. Nutrition experts are in the healthcare setting to address chronic disease and food insecurity. We will hear of the long term work in CA WIC to maintain a culturally competent and diverse workforce, including dietetic internships, RD exam preparation, and grad school counseling. NWA's Recruitment and Retention of RDs in WIC Task Force will provide updates from the national view.
  • Improving Program Linkages for WIC webinar on Nov. 21. Applications for federal benefits programs are complicated and, in many ways, redundant. WIC participants expect use of technology and streamlined business processes. This webinar will provide examples of successful program linkages between federal benefits and highlight recent findings among California WIC agencies related to data sharing and program linkages for health care and state and federal programs.
Our Top News Picks
Breastfeeding Californians Lean on Each Other During Power Outage
Nearly 2 million people lost electricity, some for several days, last week after California's largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, shut down electrical lines to try to prevent wildfires in Northern California. Mothers who breastfeed scrambled to figure out how to continue pumping and storing breast milk, and women who pump regularly had to find a way to continue to do so in order to maintain their supply and avoid painful engorgement. Hospitals handed out manual breast pumps, breastfeeding parents leaned on friends who were in areas that still had power, a Facebook support group was created to connect parents in Oakland and Berkeley during the power outage. Around the same time, a public spreadsheet began circulating with the contact information of those ready to help, including people with child-friendly spaces in their homes. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, if you don't plan to use your breast milk within 24 hours, it should ideally be frozen. If you refrigerate it, it can be kept for up to eight days in the fridge, but it's best to use the refrigerated milk within four days. If frozen breast milk defrosts, it cannot be refrozen and must be either used or discarded.
Healthy Eating Can Help Fight Depression 
A small study of young adults with poor diets and moderate-to-high symptoms of depression found that those who embraced healthier food choices reported less anxiety and much better moods within weeks. Half of the participants were coached to add fruit, vegetables, fish and olive oil to their diet and reduce processed foods. They received $60 toward groceries and two check-in phone calls. The others received no coaching and continued their regular diets. After three weeks, those who consistently ate better reported much better moods. Their scores on a scale measuring depression levels were normal and they reported less anxiety than the regular diet group, whose depression levels remained in the "moderate to high" range. Researchers say that depression is associated with a chronic inflammatory response, and poor diet both increases systemic inflammation and is also a risk factor for depression, but note that while an improved diet should be encouraged, it is not a replacement for medication or other therapies. 
Only About a Third of Pregnant Women Getting Vaccinations They Need 
About two-thirds of pregnant women in the United States don't get vaccinated against both flu and whooping cough, putting them and their newborns at risk, a new report from the CDCreports. When women receive these vaccines during pregnancy, they protect themselves, but also pass along antibodies to their fetus, providing protection during the time newborns are too young to be vaccinated. The CDC report found that only about 35% of pregnant women are receiving both vaccines. Pregnant women who get the flu are more likely to be hospitalized - of the 15- to 44-year-old women who were hospitalized due to flu since 2010, between 24% and 34% were pregnant, even though only 9% of U.S. women in this age group are pregnant at any given time each year. Flu vaccination in pregnant women reduces the risk of flu-related hospitalization for infants under 6 months of age by an average of 72%, according to the CDC, while Tdap vaccination during the third trimester of pregnancy prevents more than 78% of whooping cough in babies under 2-months-old. 
Childhood Obesity Report
New data from the National Survey of Children's Health show that 4.8 million kids ages 10 to 17 have obesity. Explore these findings and the latest trends from major surveys that track rates at the national and state level, including the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the WIC Participant and Program Characteristics Survey, and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, in The State of Obesity, a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 
Postpartum Self-Care Resource
The 4th Trimester Project, a cross discipline project at University of North Carolina, has launched The new website provides evidence-based, non-directive postpartum health information to help mothers thrive, including information on infant feeding. The 4th Trimester Project connects new mothers, health care providers, researchers, public health professionals, community leaders, and other stakeholders from across the globe to identify unmet postpartum health needs, build knowledge, and create solutions.   
Smile, California
Smile, California, promoting access to oral health care for California's Medi-Cal Dental program, known as Denti-Cal, has a number of new resources available. Healthy Smile Tips delivers healthy dental tips via text message! Subscribers receive 2-3 text messages each month. Text messages include helpful information about maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Encourage members in your community to sign up for Healthy Smile Tips by texting SMILECA to 31996. Program flyers are also available for use in your organization, in English and Spanish. Also available are three fotonovelas: First Tooth, First Birthday, First Visit, promoting the importance of scheduling a dental visit when babies' first tooth comes in or by their first birthday, available in English and Spanish; Seal Today to Prevent Decay promotes the importance of scheduling an appointment to have molar sealants applied to children's permanent 1st and 2nd molars, also in English and Spanish; Set Your Clean Routine walks through each family member's oral health routine to educate the reader about setting good oral health habits as well as the covered services for every age. This particular fotonovela contains side-by-side English and Chinese translations. For questions about the Smile, California campaign please feel free to reach out to
California WIC Association
3120 Freeboard Dr., Suite 101, West Sacramento, CA 95691

Phone: 916-572-0700; Fax: 916-572-0760