CWA Flash E-Newsletter - September 16, 2020
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Affordable Housing
Affordable housing provides more than just shelter. It can positively impact child development, education, mental and physical health, and other social and economic factors. WIC Can Help by referring families to local resources for rental assistance, subsidized housing, foreclosure prevention, and other ways to keep a roof over their heads.
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Time for a New Hobby?
During the pandemic, the popularity of birdwatching is soaring. Here are some tips for tapping into stress-relief activity that can be done anywhere is free or cheap, and is easily socially-distant, and entertaining!
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Policy
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Up For Vote!
This week, the House will vote on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 2694), legislation that would require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition. The final vote takes place tomorrow, leaving several days for the WIC community to make their voice is heard and that legislators hear about how employers can keep pregnancies safe and healthy. Please use this advocacy tookit to find different ways to lift support for pregnant workers. Please note that this may constitute a lobbying activity.
NWA Leads #WICWaiversWork Campaign as 9/30 Deadline Approaches
USDA has yet to grant an extension beyond September 30th for the waivers that enable remote WIC services. In late August, NWA was joined by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in calling for waivers to be extended for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency period. NWA has launched the #WICWaiversWork campaign to urge USDA to extend WIC waivers. This campaign continues to spotlight the difficult choices that would be faced by providers and WIC families if the waivers are not extended. To raise your experience with waivers, please look at NWA's WIC Waiver Extension Advocacy Toolkit to engage on social media, press, or direct advocacy. CWA encourages you to reach out to your members of Congress to let them know how important the USDA waivers are to your safe operation - ask Sarah if you need assistance!
Judge Orders Halt to Census Layoffs, Plans Proceed Anyway
Following the Trump administration's announcement in early August that they will cut the 2020 census counting short by a month, a federal judge ordered the U.S. Census Bureau to halt winding down the census. However, supervisors in at least one California office have been instructed to make plans for laying off census takers, according to an email obtained by The Associated Press. In response to the judge's temporary restraining order, the Census Bureau said Tuesday it would refrain from laying off census takers who were in phases two or three of the three-phase door knocking operation. The census takers are sent out to homes that have not yet responded to the census on their own online by phone or by mail. Census takers reach the second phase when at least 60% of households requiring door knockers in their area have either been contacted or four attempts have been made.
Nutrition Advocacy Opportunities
Attention members and nonmembers of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics! You can sign onto support letters for a number of nutrition initiatives related to COVID for school lunches, relief funding, medical nutrition therapy and WIC. The WIC waivers are set to expire on Sept. 30, please add your name to the letter to USDA to protect WIC staff and participants.
State Policy Update
Gov. Newsom is working his way through the bills on his desk following the end of the legislative session. Last week he signed AB 1867, legislation that immediately extends critical paid sick days protections to California's workforce. Building on early action to expand paid sick days to employees in the food sector at the beginning of this crisis, this legislation means that every California employee that has been exposed to or tests positive for COVID-19 will have access to paid sick days for the rest of the 2020 calendar year. Still awaiting the Governor's signature are SB 1383 (Jackson) and AB 3216 (Kalra), which CWA joined the California Work and Family Coalition in supporting. 

CWA News

Empowered Young Families United, Inspire, Uplift!
At the end of August, we held our first ever VIRTUAL annual CWA conference, Empowering Young Families Unite, Inspire Uplift! This conference looked much different than it has in past years, held entirely online and with only one track, but we can confidently say that it was a success! Although we missed seeing your smiling faces, we had a great time with everyone who was able to attend, and loved seeing your real-time comments in chat, your thoughtful Q&A sessions, contest entries, and event feed posts. That agenda was great, right? The meetings were productive and the physical activities were fun! We'd like to extend a huge thank you to the planning committee, the attendees, and the exhibitors and sponsors who rolled with the punches during this very strange year, and helped the event come together. We have sent an email to each attendee with the conference evaluation, required for CE units, and it is also available here. Your ideas for speakers, workshops, topics and new ideas are seriously considered, so be sure to include those in the evaluation, or send them to us any time during the year. Presentations will be available on the Hubilo platform through October 30th, and slides for presentations (for speakers who gave permission) are available on our website. Finally, we need a few members for the curriculum planning committee, please recommend a staff person, for this fulfilling opportunity by emailing Jodi.

Our Top News Picks
Food is More Expensive, and We're Buying More Food
Grocery prices rose sharply during the spring, and while they've come down somewhat in recent months, the price of food eaten at home is still 4.6% higher than this time last year. Data out earlier in September showed that consumer prices rose 0.4% in August compared with the previous month after a sharp drop early in the pandemic. But according to the Labor Department, overall inflation remains tepid, with prices up just 1.3% from a year ago. The pandemic has also made it more difficult for people to shop strategically, as it has now become more important to visit fewer stores less-frequently, and to shop online when possible to avoid potential for COVID-19 exposure. Food price increases are particularly difficult for low-income families, who spend more of their income on food and are eating more at home, to absorb.
West Coast Impacted by Fires  
Huge wildfires are burning millions of acres and destroying homes in California, Oregon and Washington state. The fires have killed at least 33 people across the states and dozens more are missing. More than 1 million acres of land in Oregon and 3 million in California have been burned and hundreds of thousands are evacuated or under evacuation warning. Bottom of Form
The fires have blanketed the West Coast with smoke and have made air pollution unhealthy or hazardous. Health officials recommend people in areas with poor air quality limit time outdoors, keep windows shut and have air conditioners running on recirculation in order to avoid drawing air inside. Climate change has triggered excessive heat and drought conditions across the world that exacerbate wildfires. In fire-prone California, six of the 20 biggest wildfires in state history have occurred this year. ACTION: Find out how to make sure your family is disaster-ready with Listos California, if you have been impacted by the fires, check for resources with CDSS and Cal OES.
Screen Time and Green Time Impact Mental Health Outcomes for Kids
The prevalence of mental illness among children and adolescents is increasing globally. Technological developments in recent decades have increased young people's engagement with screen-based technologies (screen time), and a reduction in young people's contact with nature (green time) has been observed concurrently. A recent study in PLOS ONE found that in general, high levels of screen time appeared to be associated with unfavorable psychological outcomes, while green time appeared to be associated with favorable psychological outcomes. Young people from low socioeconomic backgrounds were underrepresented in the literature overall and may be disproportionately affected by high screen time and low green time, making this a priority group for future research.
ACEs Linked to Early Death 
In a new study, researchers from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen show that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) increase the risk of premature death in early adulthood. Researchers divided children into five groups depending on the degree of adversity experienced in childhood. The more stressful experiences they have experienced during childhood, the higher the mortality rate in early adulthood. For the most vulnerable children, the mortality rate is 4.5 times higher. The higher mortality rate mainly manifests itself in suicide and accidents, but the study also shows a higher risk of dying from cancer in this group. The results of the study stress the critical importance of broad structural public-health initiatives to reduce stressful adversity in childhood to help reduce health and mortality inequities.

Resources
Summar of State Paid Family Leave Policies
The Chamber of Commerce released an issue brief titled "Summary of paid family leave laws in the states." The publication includes key information on state paid family leave legislation including funding, benefits, and qualifications.
Nutrition Education Mini Grant Opportunity
The Association of State Public Health Nutritionists is excited to announce a grant opportunity supporting the Healthy for Life┬« community nutrition program, an initiative led by Aramark and the American Heart Association (AHA). Five Healthy for Life┬« community nutrition program grants are available. Grants are $2,500 each and funds will be used to implement four educational experiences over a two to three-month period for an audience of 20-25 participants each time. The primary target audience is individuals responsible for meal preparation in the home and families in under-resourced communities. Successful applicants will receive funding in addition to training and resources from the American Heart Association to effectively implement the Healthy for Life community nutrition program. A summary report will also be required at the conclusion of the grant. Awarded organizations are typically community-based, but open to any non-profit organization. Must also be a member of ASPHN. To join ASPHN click hereClick here for a recordedinformational webinar. Application due date: Oct. 15, 2020; Award Notification: Oct. 30, 2020. Here's a brief summary of the Healthy for Life Program - A 7-min video about the program and download the grant application. Email applications, or questions to: Shana Patterson Holland at Shana@asphn.org.
NWA Policy Webinar Series
The National WIC Association's (NWA) policy team will host a monthly, policy-focused webinar series, starting September 17. You'll hear from NWA's policy team, partner advocates, your peers, and others on updates to federal and state legislation affecting the WIC community. The first Policy Webinar will focus on the financial struggles many Americans are dealing with during the COVID-19 pandemic and how WIC agencies can assist participants with these issues! For more information on upcoming webinars and registration information, click here.
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Going Virtual With Cooking Demos
A favorite part of WIC nutrition education is cooking demos. Attendees at the recent CWA conference were treated to an informative session on producing cooking demos for virtual audiences, with Myriam Webb, RDN and Doula, owner of Doulicious Nutrition. Tips for providing virtual cooking demos are also  featured in the latest edition of Today's Dietitian.
Planning for Success With Virtual Care
A recent issue brief Telediagnosis for Acute Care: Implications for the Quality and Safety of Diagnosis" released by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, outlines some key issues in telehealth care that could be useful for WIC. Related to health diagnosis the authors posit that 3 factors will be important in the success of the technology: quality, safety and value to the individual and community. Within those areas are many important details: technology; patient engagement; and clinical presence. Early work to use videoconferencing in WIC have reported on key details and emerging best practices in these areas. Specific examples include a sense of the person's home life and environment, access to the internet or video tools, and engagement of other family members. Open the brief for the thoughtful details.
Paid Family Leave Trainings
The last couple years have seen a lot of progress in CA for paid family leave (PFL). Some of that is driven by the pandemic. Paid family leaves laws can be confusing. To help clarify the laws Legal Aid at Work and CA Work and Family Coalition CWFC), have excellent materials. Something new is, CWFC is offering Paid Leave Education where members and community leaders can receive on-going training and support to become a paid leave educator/resource for their workplace or community. In the current climate, there is a great need for peer to peer sharing of resources and information that would help more people take the time they need to care for themselves or family. The Coalition, in collaboration with members, is hosting on-going training and support for people who would like to learn how to lead short trainings, share resources, or point clients and other contacts in the right direction when it comes to taking leave.  Learn more by filling out this brief survey. For questions, please contact Charlette Flanders, charlette@workfamilyca.org.
Sesame Street Stay Safe PSAs
California's "Your Actions Saves Lives" COVID-19 public awareness and education campaign recently signed on with Sesame Workshop, and a number of partners to use public service announcements directed to school children with COVID safe messages. Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, Grover, and Elmo's dad Louie help children understand how to stay safe in and out of school during the pandemic by practicing social distancing, hand-washing, and mask-wearing. You can find Elmo and his dad, Louie here in English, and in Spanish here. Two additional PSAs featuring the Oscar and Grover characters will also be released in English and in Spanish in the next week.

California WIC Association
3120 Freeboard Dr., Suite 101, West Sacramento, CA 95691

Phone: 916-572-0700; Fax: 916-572-0760
www.calwic.org