CWA Flash E-Newsletter - June 16, 2020
Quick Links:
Upcoming Training & Conferences
Job Listings
Breastfeeding Advocacy
Our Projects:
WIC Can Help logo

Alcohol and Substance Abuse  
The stresses of the pandemic present different challenges for addressing alcohol and substance abuse and addiction. New resources have become available from the National Institute of Health and HHS with a free national hotline available 24/7 in English and Spanish for treatment referral and information. 
WWW logo

Re-Opening Safely  
As more places of work are re-opening, it's important to think about how we can modify our behavior to keep ourselves and others healthy. Here are some considerations you can take for your commuting, lunch, and more to avoid contracting or spreading COVID-19.
Connect With Us!
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook, follow us on  Twitter and
Shopping at Amazon?
AmazonSmile logo
Support CWA without spending anything extra by using AmazonSmile!
Did someone share this with you? Sign up here to get the CWA Flash directly!
Members of Congress Call for USDA to Extend WIC Waivers Through Sept. 
Earlier this month, 56 members of the House of Representatives led by Reps. Josh Harder (D-CA) and Jenniffer González Colón (R-PR) issued a letter calling on USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue to provide flexibility for state and local agencies by extending waivers for WIC services through September 30. Our deep appreciation goes out to all of the local agency staff in California who joined "virtual legislative visits" to talk to members of Congress about this issue, called their offices to urge them to sign onto the letter, and provided quotes for the press release, as well as to our partners at NWA who worked with Congressman Harder's office on the letter. USDA has authority granted by Congress to extend waivers through September 30th, but thus far has chosen only to extend waivers for remote operations through June 30th. 
Federal Budget FY2021 Developments
The House Appropriations Committee will likely vote in July on twelve appropriations bills for the 2021 fiscal year. Funding for WIC is part of the Agriculture/FDA appropriations bill. WIC also received additional funding in the COVID-19 relief bills to help respond to increased need, $500 million was included in the Families First Act in March, and $1.1 billion for WIC was proposed in the HEROES Act, which has passed the House and is now in the Senate. 
LGBTQ Win in Supreme Court 
Yesterday in a Supreme Court ruling, sexual orientation and gender identity were protected from workplace discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Justices ruled that protection against sex discrimination, applies to gay and transgender workers. In 2015 marriage rights were protected, but in many states, employers could discriminate against employees for being gay or trans. 
CA Legislature Proposes Budget  
The Legislature passed a State Budget yesterday that rejected many of the Governor's proposed May Revise reduction proposals for health, human services and education. However, the vote took place to meet the CA Constitutional deadline for passage of a new spending plan and negotiations will still continue behind the scenes with the Governor's Office for a final State Budget deal for fiscal year 2020-21 to be signed into law by Governor Newsom on July 1st.  Note that the year began with a huge surplus. The Governor's shortfall due to COVID19 is estimated to be $54.4 billion while the Legislature used a lower number closer to $30 million. Regardless, everyone is hoping for more revenues from the July tax returns as well as relief from the federal government. We will keep you informed as the negotiations continue to unfold in the coming weeks. 
Successful AB 3216 Virtual Advocacy Day!
Last week CWA joined with the CA Work and Family Coalition, Legal Aid at Work, and several other organizations at a virtual advocacy day for AB 3216 (Kalra), a critical bill for protecting the health, safety, and security of California's working families. AB 3216 addresses the urgent need to enable California to recover from COVID-19, prevent recurring outbreaks, and move toward economic recovery by allowing workers to care for themselves and their families. This bill would: provide 7 days of emergency paid sick leave to all workers during a state of public health emergency; provide 12 weeks of job-protected emergency family and medical leave for workers in a vulnerable population at high risk of severe illness and for workers who are subject to a quarantine order during a state of emergency; provide 12 weeks of job-protected emergency family and medical leave to care for a child, parent, or spouse whose school or care facilities have been closed due to a state of emergency; provide a right of recall and retention for workers who have been laid off in industries heavily impacted by COVID-19, such as hotels, airport hospitality, event centers, and building services. ACTION: AB 3216 will likely be voted on in the Assembly this Thursday. Now would be a great time to call your Assemblymember and urge their support. Here is a short script to help you! " Hello, my name is [CALLER NAME] and I am a [CITY/TOWN] resident. I'm calling today to ask [REPRESENTATIVE] to support AB 3216 (Kalra) and the Governor's paid family leave budget proposal. This is important to me/my family/my community because (as a caregiver, as a parent, as an airline worker, as a person working with youth, etc.) paid sick days/job retention/paid leave are something we need for our health and economic security in the best of times and, with COVID-19, it's absolutely critical to us and to the economic recovery of the state."
CWA News
Empowered Young Families Unite, Inspire, Uplift!
The theme of CWA's 28th Annual Conference and Trade Show, Aug. 24-28, will focus on uncomfortable realities and promising strategies to ensure young families have a bright future. The 5-day event will cover nutrition, breastfeeding and early feeding, leadership and management, and wellness. A sample of topics includes breastfeeding support during the COVID pandemic, identifying excess weight loss in WIC infants, compassion fatigue and self-care, WIC online grocery delivery and pick up, and best practices for telehealth. The Trade Show will run the full event with designated times to engage with vendors to learn about products and share from the front lines the needs of families. A variety of wellness breaks will be provided twice each day. For more information or to register check here. 
WIC Works Webinars: Community Nutrition Incentives
If you missed the recent webinars describing partnerships for improving food security and access to fruits and vegetables, you can check out the recordings. Thank you to partners from the UC San Diego School of Medicine ¡Mas Fresco! More Fresh Program, about grocery store incentives, Ecology Center's Market Match at farmers' markets and ALL IN Alameda, Food as Medicine Initiative . And we learned about healthy pregnancy outcomes as a result of prenatal produce incentives in the UC San Francisco Vouchers for Veggies EatSF partnership with the San Francisco WIC program. ACTION: Watch the recording for Local Partnerships Boost Access to Fruits and Vegetables and Improving Fruit & Veggie Access for Pregnant WIC Moms. 
Jobs and Trainings!
We have recently posted several new WIC job listings on our website, and we continually update our trainings and events page as well. Make sure you check out what's new!  
Let's Beat the 2010 Census Completion!
Big shout out to the WIC agencies who continue to encourage census completion in their conversations with WIC participants. Current CA completion is at 62%, with the 2010 census hitting 68% completion. Due to COVID, on-line, phone and mailed responses were extended from July 31 to Oct. 31. This is opportunity to engage WIC participants or community members to complete the census. CWA provides a phone script for this short conversation, and other resources, that can be used during calls to WIC participants or other community program members.
Our Top News Picks
COVID-19 Racial Data Tracking
Ensuring racial and ethnic data on the impact of COVID is available and publicized is necessary to address racism. As a result of a series of articles in The Atlantic focusing on the lack of racial and ethnic data related to COVID-19, The COVID Racial Tracker was created as a partnership of The COVID Tracking Project and the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. Started in mid-April, it was quickly evident not all states collected data on the impact of the virus on race and ethnicity. The project coordinators point out the difficulty of compiling the data due to gaps in surveillance. National data indicates twice as many black lives are being lost, 24% of cases, when race is reported, compared to 13% of the national population. For CA 10% of deaths due to COVID are among Black or African Americans, while they represent only 6% of the population. And for the CA Hispanic and Latino population, representing 39% of the state, they are experiencing 56% of the COVID cases. 
>5 Months of Exclusive Breastfeeding Can Help Reduce Obesity Risk
Exclusive breastfeeding to 5 months can attenuate the impact of genetic risk on body mass index (BMI) increase during childhood, according to a study published in PLOS Genetics. Researchers found that in the high genetically susceptible group, exclusive breastfeeding to 5 months reduced BMI by 1.14 and 1.53 kg/m² in 18-year-old boys and girls, respectively. A significantly diminished impact on reducing BMI growth during childhood was seen with exclusive breastfeeding to 3 months or nonexclusive breastfeeding. 
Poor American Counties Rank Alongside Iraq, Bangladesh in Child Welfare
The findings of a new report by Save the Children, show that kids in the poorest areas of the U.S. are subjected to rates of trauma, poverty, and food insecurity at similar rates to those in troubled areas of the world such as Cambodia and Iraq. That report, which compares data on childhood from 180 countries, found the United States "trails nearly all other advanced countries in helping children reach their full potential," and tied for 43rd place with China and Montenegro. Children in America who live in rural counties fare far worse than their urban counterparts. Forty-six of 50 bottom ranked counties are rural and only three rural counties are ranked in the top 50. You can read the full report, which includes more policy and funding recommendations, and see an interactive map of this data here. 
Infants Fed Formula in the Hospital More Likely to Wean
After adjusting for medical indications for supplementation, a new study finds that infants given formula in the hospital were 2.5 times more likely to be weaned early compared to those who were exclusively breastfed in the hospital. Researchers say addressing the societal, structural, and procedural factors that contribute to in-hospital formula feeding has the potential to improve breastfeeding duration and thus the lifelong health of both mothers and infants. Improving hospital infant feeding practices could be particularly significant for black infants and mothers, as a 2016 study found that black mothers were nine times more likely to be given formula for their babies in the hospital than white mothers.
Racism's Effect on Maternal Health, Breastfeeding, Parenting
The discussion around racism being a public health crisis is not new in the WIC community, but inequities in the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and increasing momentum among the anti-racism protests following the murder of George Floyd have brought longstanding racial inequities into sharper focus. Listen to this interview with California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris , who is known for her pioneering work on the role that childhood stress and trauma play on the wellness of minority populations, and then, get ready for an amazing interview between Abby Theuring of The Badass Breastfeeder podcast and Kimberly Seals Allers, an amazing advocate in the field of maternal child health and breastfeeding within the Black community and among women of color. 
Relactation Resources 
The CDC has published a webpage titled "Supporting Families with Relactation." Relactation is the process by which a parent reestablishes lactation after having stopped for some time (weeks or months). The page includes information on the process of relactation, timelines for relactation, and reasons a parent may want to relactate. 
COVID-19 Response Playbook 
The Social Tech Playbook for COVID-19 Response is designed for state, local, and nonprofit agencies. It provides practical and timely guidance to help leaders meet the overwhelming demand for basic needs such as food, health, and income assistance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, agencies have had to quickly change business operations in order to protect their staff while continuing to provide help and support to the community. They've also had to quickly implement changes to reflect new federal, state, and local policies and procedures. This playbook reflects a collaboration between nonprofit, social impact organizations focused on leveraging technology to transform the ways public-serving institutions deliver and manage social support and services. It will be updated regularly with new plays; feedback and suggestions for future plays are welcome. Find the playbook here:
California WIC Association
3960 Industrial Blvd., Suite 500 West Sacramento, CA 95691

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