CalFresh: Better Food for Better Living
CalFresh, California's name for food stamps, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can add to many WIC families' food budgets and help them put healthy and nutritious food on the table, while also stimulating our economy and supporting communities! Check out our
CalFresh information and toolkit
, and if you missed the recent webinar,
CalFresh and WIC: Better Together!
listen to the recording and use the resources.
Toolkits for Wellness
Wellness has a lot to do with your relationships, your physical surroundings and your habits.
Your Healthiest Self
, a set of tool kits from the National Institutes of Health, was designed to help you improve your well-being, and tackle five topics: your surroundings, your feelings, your body, your relationships and your disease defense.
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New Executive Order on Social Benefit Programs
Earlier in the month, President Trump issued an
requiring federal departments (including USDA) that administer public benefit programs to review programmatic regulations and submit a report to the White House identifying opportunities to strengthen work requirements and tighten eligibility criteria, particularly for immigrants. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue
issued a statement
echoing the White House's language on dependency. The executive order follows a USDA
seeking public input on how to "promote work" in SNAP, as well as the Administration's grant of a waiver permitting work requirements in
program. Although the Administration is already signaling that
SNAP and Medicaid
are the primary focus of this executive order, other programs like WIC must be included in the reports to the White House.
Farm Bill Threatens SNAP & CA's Kids
The Farm Bill, introduced last week in the House Agriculture Committee, is generally passed every five years to reauthorize both farm subsidies and certain nutrition programs, including SNAP, (
). WIC is authorized separately through Child Nutrition Reauthorization. WIC families also depend on SNAP, however, and proposed changes would negatively impact children and their families through restrictions in
Other changes include imposing harsher work requirements and redirecting funding from food assistance to job training programs. Secretary Perdue suggested that the draft legislation last week
with the farm bill principles he released earlier this year. The bill still faces markup and a House vote, and the Senate's farm bill is likely to look very different than the House version. Leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee,
made it clear
that they will work in a bipartisan effort on their version. ACTION: Read the National WIC Association's
full analysis of the Farm Bill.
categorical eligibility limitations
impacts on CA and call
California House members of the Ag Committee
and tell them to oppose the Farm Bill's SNAP changes.
Paid Family Leave: Have Your Say!
California Work & Family Coalition
is partnering with
Human Impact Partners
focused on California's unpaid family caregivers. This is the first phase of a longer campaign to meet a goal of making sure that State and workplace policies - including Paid Family Leave - flexibly support working caregivers who provide care and assistance to seriously ill and disabled family members. The research findings will help all of us - advocates, community leaders, and policymakers - understand the real needs of family caregivers. ACTION: Please share with members, colleagues, and friends who work and care for loved ones. If you are a family caregiver yourself, please take a few minutes to complete the
, also available in
CA Children's Legislative Report Card
Conference Countdown - 5 Days...
A week from today, CWA's 26th
Annual Conference & Trade Show
will be in full swing, and we are expecting to see over 900 of your smiling faces! Be sure to check the
ahead of next week to plan which sessions you'll attend and also
download the presentation materials
submitted so far. For those of you not able to make it, you can check out the materials, of course, and accept our gratitude for keeping the doors open for WIC families back home.
If you haven't registered yet but would still like to attend, you can register on site starting Sunday, April 29.
Follow us on
and get ready to participate in our eWIC Go! Scavenger hunt.
California WIC has selected a new Management Information System (MIS)!
The selected MIS has been used in more than 10 state WIC or tribal agencies, including Michigan, New York, and Florida. California's version of the system will be based off of New York's system and configured for California-specific needs. In addition to streamlining daily work functions, some advantages of the new system are being able to issue food benefits via a magnetic stripe EBT card (similar to a debit card), load participant benefits remotely, capture electronic signatures, and provide helpful reminders for local agency staff to perform required tasks. The system will also be able to print various screens for families, such as graphical growth charts, and offer a web portal for participants! If you're attending the CWA 2018 Annual Conference and Trade Show, there will be an opportunity to learn more about the features of the new system that is expected to be available statewide by April 2020.
Philadelphia "Soda Tax" Proving Effective
joined cities taxing sugar-sweetened beverages
, and researchers say that it's working to reduce sugary beverage consumption. A survey of residents both before and after a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sweetened drinks took effect, compared to people in three other cities without a beverage tax, found Philadelphians were about 40 percent less likely to drink sweetened beverages daily after the tax went into effect. At the same time, Philadelphians' consumption of bottled water, which is not taxed, increased. The tax didn't seem to influence consumption of sugary fruit drinks such as fruit flavors of Snapple or Sunny Delight - researchers say that may be because fruit beverages are perceived to be healthier than soda, even though they contain similar amounts of sugar. Berkeley implemented a similar tax in 2015, and
sugar-sweetened beverage consumption
declined in some neighborhoods by about 20 percent. Last year, several other cities enacted beverage taxes, including Oakland, CA, and Boulder, CO.
Adolescents' Cooking Skills Predict Future Nutritional Wellbeing
A new study suggests that
developing cooking skills as a young adult
may have long-term benefits for health and nutrition. Adolescents from a study conducted in some Minnesota schools reported on their cooking skills at 18 to 23 years old. Data collected on their nutrition-related outcomes when participants were 30 to 35 years old showed that perceived adequacy of cooking skills predicted multiple indicators of nutrition outcomes later in adulthood, including greater odds of preparing a meal with vegetables most days and less frequent consumption of fast food. If those who perceived their cooking skills as adequate had families, they ate more frequent family meals, less frequent fast food meals, and had fewer barriers to food preparation. Researchers say that these findings reinforce that helping children and adolescents develop cooking skills may result in long-term nutrition benefits for individuals as well as their future families.
Hypertension Increases Risk for Pregnancy Loss
Women whose blood pressure is high before they are pregnant may be
at increased risk for miscarriage
. Researchers used data from a study of 1,228 women attempting pregnancy after having previously lost a baby. Of the 797 who achieved pregnancy, 188, or almost a quarter, lost the baby again. The
study, in Hypertension
, found no association of blood pressure with the ability to get pregnant. But after adjusting for smoking, body mass index, marital status, education, race and other factors, they found that for each 10-point increase in pre-pregnancy diastolic blood pressure - the bottom number in a blood pressure reading - there was a 17 percent increase in the risk of pregnancy loss.
Updated Baby Friendly Ten Steps Guidance Released
The World Health Organization and UNICEF released
updated implementation guidance
for the recently revised
Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
. While the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is having steady success in the US with more hospitals receiving this gold standard designation, this is a global initiative and improvements were made with the intent to improve maternity care practices and support breastfeeding globally. Unexpected announcements of the upcoming changes earlier this fall caused great concern and created many questions. This recent announcement was made after discussion and engagement with five global breastfeeding organizations, including Baby Friendly USA and consensus on the final document. ACTION: Read the statement from Baby Friendly and partners and note next steps.
World Breastfeeding Week Event Planning
World Breastfeeding Week, Aug. 1-7, will be here before we know it and World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action has launched the
#WBW2018 pledge form
. Individuals and organizations are invited to pledge to participate in World Breastfeeding Week by submitting details of #WBW2018 event(s). WABA will pin the location and information on the Pledge Map. You can also register for Breastfeeding Public Health Partners webinar series,
Charting the Course Together
, a NACCHO initiative. Don't forget to register for tomorrow's webinar, to learn about the laws, remedies, enforcement, and gaps in lactation policies and how to help guide parents facing barriers at work, provided by Legal Aid at Work and CA Breastfeeding Coalition. ACTION:
Register for the webinar
Rethink Your Drink Day Resources
Health advocates across the state will come together on May 16 for the first annual Statewide Day of Action -
Rethink Your Drink Day
. Organized by CDPH's SNAP-Ed Program, this event is designed to raise awareness about the health effects of sugary drinks and the benefits of replacing these drinks with water. ACTION: Recruit community-based partners and start planning now!
Register for RYD Day
and look for the Event-In-A-Box Toolkit being shipped later this month. For more information contact
Updated WIC Works Resource System
The USDA's Food and Nutrition Service has announced that the
newly designed WIC Works Resource System website
is now available! Updates to the site include a mobile-responsive design, appealing new color palette, and significantly improved search capabilities for the wide range of WIC-relevant adaptable tools, education materials, and resources that WIC Works offers. Contact the
WIC Works team
with questions or concerns.