CWA Flash E-Newsletter - March 8, 2019
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    Summer Meals  
  Hunger does not take a summer vacation! The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), also known as Summer Lunch, is a federally funded program that reimburses community organizations that provide free, nutritious meals to children 18 years of age and younger. In 2017, only 15% of California children and youth participating in school lunch during the school year were able to benefit from the summer meal program. WIC Can Help families stretch their food dollars so children can enjoy nutritious meals during the long summer months. 
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Watch Out for Salt! 
It can be hidden in bread, pizza, soup and other packaged foods and restaurant meals. Now, advice to watch out for salt is coming with a more specific reason. A report released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine ties the recommended limit on sodium to a reduced risk of chronic disease. The report, which is expected to serve as a guide for policymakers, says the updated guidance is meant to also convey that cutting back on salt can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, even if people are still above the recommended limit of 2,300 mg a day for most adults. 
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Federal WIC Updates 
For WIC, at the federal level there will be a lot to pay attention to in the coming months. After the shutdown, WIC was appropriated for FY 2019 a total of $6.075 billion, a $100 million decrease from FY 2018 levels, yet adequate to meet current caseload needs. Breastfeeding peer counselors were appropriated for 60 million, and 5 million for competitive grants for telehealth for nutrition education or breastfeeding support. Looking ahead to FY 2020, working with the leadership of NWA, our ask is for 6.15 billion in funding, and full funding for breastfeeding peer counselors, at 90 million, in addition to other important asks for research and evaluation, infrastructure and community health integration and contingency funding.. On the policy side, the Child Nutrition Act, which includes WIC, is overdue to be reauthorized, and is an opportunity for improvements. One of several ideas is to extend WIC to age six to ensure nutrition until the start of school. Another proposal is to extend post-partum eligibility to 2 years to ensure perinatal and postpartum care, and extend certifications for all family members to 2 years. ACTION: Check out NWA's resources for the federal funding and policy asks. 
Governor Announces Leadership for CA HHS Agency
Governor Newsom appointed Mark Ghaly, MD, a practicing pediatrician and director for health and social impact for Los Angeles Dept. of Health Services, as the new Secretary of California Agency for Health and Human Services. Dr. Ghaly's leadership has focused on the integration of individual and community health with policy and health law. Michelle Baass, has been reappointed as the Agency Undersecretary, a position she has held since 2018, following several leadership positions in the Office of Program and Fiscal Affairs and Senate.
CWA News
Washington D.C. Hears from WIC!
WIC staff from across the nation came together to learn and share about key issues at the National WIC Association's Leadership Conference earlier this week, and also to share vital data and information about WIC services with our DC representatives. We can be proud of our CA WIC Ambassadors, including five current WIC moms, who, in visiting every CA Congressional office ensured our decision makers are informed about WIC. NWA awarded Sarah Diaz, Media & Policy Coordinator of the California WIC Association, its Leadership Award for Advocacy for her role in working with the media to raise the issue of public charge and its effect on WIC. Check out a few pictures on our Facebook page. ACTION: Invite your representative and their staff to visit your clinic . All representatives agree, a visit to WIC is an impactful experience. Need help?  Contact Sarah and work with our Ambassadors. Check the legislative calendar to plan for a time your representative will be in town. 
Annual Conference - Catch the Wave!
We look forward to hosting hundreds of attendees, exhibitors and sponsors at Catch the Wave: WIC Moves Families Forward , CWA's Annual Conference & Trade Show, April 28-May 1 in San Diego. In two months, attendees will be presented a rich opportunity to learn from stellar speakers on pertinent topics, such as inclusivity, eWIC, and urgent public health issues. We will honor some colleagues, fit in some meetings, network with companies and organizations that support WIC, and stay active with physical activity. Sound like a lot? It is, but don't worry, we will have fun while we are doing it all! ACTION: Register by March 15th for early bird pricing! Onsite registration will also be available. Check out the fun, team building activities we have planned on our webpage! Don't forget to submit your Local Agency Sharing application by March 15th!
Our Top News Picks
Breastfeeding Reduces Effects of Opioid Withdrawal in Newborns
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) occurs when a baby is exposed to opioids in the womb; shortly after birth the baby will experience drug withdrawal. These infants have longer and more complicated postnatal hospital stays that include feeding difficulty, sepsis, respiratory distress syndrome, and seizures, among other disorders. In 2014, $563 million were spent on costs for treatment of NAS, and Medicaid paid the majority of the costs. Several studies suggest that one of the most effective and affordable strategies to mitigate NAS is to exclusively breastfeed newborns at risk. Breast milk is associated with reduced NAS severity and a decreased need for drug treatment. Researchers in Australia showed that breastfed babies experienced a delayed onset of NAS, a reduction in NAS acuteness, and a decrease in the need for drug treatment. 
A Plan to Cut Child Poverty in the U.S.  
Child poverty in the U.S. could be cut in half over the next 10 years, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. NASEM estimates that current levels of child poverty , in addition to the individual and community suffering, cost the U.S. between $800 billion and $1.1 trillion a year, due to lower productivity when poor children become adults and increased costs due to higher crime and poor health. Possible fixes offered by NASEM include one path toward expanding existing programs (EITC, SNAP, housing assistance, etc.) that encourage work but also provide direct assistance, or another plan that would expand the earned income and child care tax credits, raise the minimum wage, eliminate restrictions on immigrant families' access to government aid, and provide a $2,700 yearly allowance for each child. Both plans are expensive - last least $90 billion, but both would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and cut child poverty in half. About 15 million children in the United States - 21% of all children - live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold , a measurement that has been shown to underestimate the needs of families . 
More Families Using Public Assistance   
The Annie E. Casey Foundations reports that between 2005 and 2017, 46 out of 50 states saw an uptick in the percentage of kids who were living in families that receive public assistance. This trend toward public assistance also holds true at the national level. In 2005, nearly one in five of kids across the country - more than 13.8 million children total - lived in a family that received public assistance. Today, one in four kids in America - nearly 18.6 million children - lives in such a family. State level data are here .
New Digital Tools for WIC Participants: A Guide for WIC Agencies
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the National WIC Association (NWA), and Social Interest Solutions (SIS) have developed a toolkit to help state and local WIC agencies become more informed purchasers of digital tools for WIC participants. While some WIC agencies have made digital tools available to participants for many years, others are employing them for the first time. This toolkit is intended for use by state and local WIC agency staff as they implement participant-facing technology and is designed to help them determine whether to employ, how to choose, how to implement, and how to improve a digital tool for WIC participants. 
UC Davis Maternal & Child Nutrition Graduate Program
Apply now for UC Davis' Master of Advanced Study in Maternal and Child Nutrition, a program designed specifically for full-time, working professionals who want to earn an advanced degree in this specialized area. Students in this 36-unit, part-time program will learn from internationally known researchers and faculty who have shaped U.S. and international policy on maternal and child health and discover how to design, implement and evaluate nutrition intervention programs for mothers and children from a variety of backgrounds. Applications are due April 15 for the fall 2019 program. For more information, call (800) 752-0881 or email 
Infant Feeding - When & How to Begin?
A new resource addressing current information on the timing of complementary foods and the link to health conditions such as obesity, food sensitivity, allergies and anemia was recently released by the Association of State Public Health Nutritionists (ASPHN). Guidelines and Health Conditions Related to Timing of Early Infant Feeding, provides a foundation for formulating educational messages and recommendations to improve nutrition and decrease disease. It is available on the ASPHN website, or for more info, contact Shana Patterson, If you are coming to the CWA conference, be sure to catch the preconference and workshop on introduction of complimentary foods. 
Child Welfare Spending Analyzed
Child Trends recently released their biennial national survey of child welfare agency expenditures, Child Welfare Financing Survey SFY 2016. The report provides detailed information on the multiple funding streams used by states and county child welfare agencies to administer programs and services, and the data and trends are broken down at the national and state level, along with individual sections dedicated to the seven funding streams examined in the survey (Medicaid, Social Services Block Grant, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Title IV-B, Title IV-E, other federal funds, and state and local funds. 
Trauma-Informed Care Resources
In light of the Governor's recent budget proposal to invest $45 million into trauma screening, check out two new briefs from Children Now. Screening Kids for Trauma Birth to 5 highlights the importance of screening for trauma and provides recommendations for the state of California and providers to prevent and treat childhood trauma. Setting a Medi-Cal Child Health Quality Agenda reviews the current landscape of child health quality measurement and provides recommendations on how the state can move forward in 2019 and beyond to advance and improve child health outcomes. How do experiences as children shape their health as adults? What does it mean to be trauma-informed, and what does trauma-informed care look like in a health care setting? In this new animated video, meet "Dr. Cruz," who addresses these questions and shares what she has learned about caring for patients with exposure to trauma, including abuse, neglect, and violence.
California WIC Association
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Phone: 916-572-0700; Fax: 916-572-0760