CWA Flash E-Newsletter - September 19, 2019
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September: 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. This month, 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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Keep Your Body in Shape to Keep Your Mind in Shape!  
 If you're looking for incentives to hit the gym, new research suggests that staying in good shape may help preserve brain structure, boost memory, and improve the ability to think clearly and quickly. 
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Expect a Continuing Resolution for WIC Funding 
With less than 2 weeks until the end of the federal fiscal year, the Senate has not come close to completing consideration of the 12 appropriations bills, having only begun to discuss 4 of the bills. The House passed 10 of the bills, including the Agriculture Appropriations bill that includes robust WIC funding and record investment in the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program. It is expected that the House will ask for a continuing resolution to extend current funding until Nov. 22 with funding for military projects and the border wall central to the hold up. The 35 day government shutdown of last year was related to border wall funding. 
Protect Food Security With Your Comments  
The federal government is asking for your thoughts on how eligibility across some food programs is determined, specifically for categorical eligibility of those who receive cash aid for SNAP and school meals. This proposal would eliminate categorical eligibility, and limit access to SNAP for an estimated 3 million individuals and 500,000 school children, and could also impact those with adjunctive eligibility for WIC. You know better than anyone, how young families depend on food assistance, especially in California with high cost of living, especially housing. Families need these programs to cover their income gaps and simply eat! This is not lobbying, the government is asking you for comment. Please comment today, on this USDA proposal, the deadline is Monday. ACTION:Simply click here, read the material and open the comment box to comment. Check out NWA's template comments here.
CWA News
Put WIC on the Map!
WIC Staff members are experts on WIC, and the best people to educate state and national decisionmakers on how WIC works! Earlier this week, we kicked off our Put WIC on the Map campaign with a webinar on being a WIC Ambassador. Now's the time to put a plan into action! Both the House and the Senate will be on recess for the first two weeks in October, making it an ideal time to connect with your member of Congress. As they meet with key constituents in their communities, legislative staffers will be considering key WIC priorities, including pending proposals for Child Nutrition Reauthorization. Your representative should know the good news about the CA WIC Card and WIC WISE. You are the best person to share that information! ACTION: For tips on setting up a WIC clinic visit with your Congressional representative, check out our WIC Ambassador Toolkit. If you have questions or would like the recording link for our Put WIC on the Map webinar, get in touch with Sarah! 
Our Top News Picks
Air Pollution Linked to Increased Risk of Preterm Birth in Second Pregnancies
Higher air pollution levels may raise the risk of preterm birth for women in their second pregnancy by as much as 51 percent, a new study shows. Despite improvements in US air quality in the 2000s, the study of more than 50,000 women showed between 7 to 12 percent of the women had higher exposure to air pollution during their second pregnancy. Higher ozone levels increased their preterm risk by 48 percent and more sulfur dioxide raised the risk by 41 percent. In 2017, preterm birth was the second leading cause of death in babies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preterm babies are born before 37 weeks. 
When Repeatedly Offered a Variety of Veggies, Kids Eat More Veggies! 
Repeatedly offering a variety of vegetables increased familiarity and eventually consumption by children, as described in a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. The team of researchers studied 32 families with children between the ages of four and six who consumed vegetables in small quantities. They were asked to take an online survey and attend an information session before the start of the experiment. For the research, three groups were created. In the first group, children were served a single vegetable; in the second group children were offered multiple vegetables; and lastly in the third group, no change in eating habits was introduced. The research was conducted for five weeks with a three-month follow-up program. It was observed that the group that consumed multiple vegetables showed a better response with an increase in consumption from .6 to 1.2 servings. No change in consumption was observed in participants who were offered a single vegetable or whose eating habits were not changed. 
MA Report Examines WIC Access Issues 
A report released this week by Massachusetts Auditor Suzanne Bump shows that families in the state face challenges such as transportation, language, immigration issues and a lack of outreach efforts to obtaining WIC assistance. The audit found that transportation was an issue particularly for rural WIC participants where there might be a significant distance to a WIC office, and a lack of public transportation options. Other concerns included materials provided during appointments not being available in necessary languages, and fears or misunderstandings around the eligibility of immigrant families for WIC, particularly in regards to the recent expansion to the "public charge" rule. While the report is Massachusetts-specific, barriers to WIC participation and retention are always worth examining. 
Public Charge Adding to CA Poverty 
A recent report from the CA Budget & Policy Center identifies the current and future impacts of the public charge rule, which goes into effect Oct. 15, on California poverty rates and economy. Additional threats and impacts resulted from travel restrictions and more public charge rule changes are under consideration. It is clear that dis-enrollment from benefits is already negatively impacting families' and individuals' ability to thrive and move to economic security. We can expect health care costs and health outcomes to also be effected when care is not provided. 
Anti-Oxidant Considerations 
Have you been taking care to eat lots of anti-oxidant rich fruits and vegetables? Do you take vitamins and supplements? Do you exercise? How is your stress level? You might want to read this article on the interplay of factors involved with all of those and your personal choices.
New WIC Voices Guide
National WIC Association is excited to announce the publication of the WIC Voices Guide for state and local WIC agencies. The guide explains the nuts and bolts of NWA's WIC Voices storytelling project and includes step-by-step directions that provide a roadmap for replicating the WIC Voices storytelling project at the federal, state or local level. Raise your WIC voice by creating your own storytelling project! 
Action Tool to Advocate for Breastfeeding Families
The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee has launched an updated online action tool, "Ask Your Members of Congress to Support Breastfeeding Families." There are currently resolutions in both Houses of Congress to support breastfeeding policies and investments: House Resolution 545 "Supporting infant nutrition through improved breastfeeding practices" and Senate Resolution 299 "A resolution designating the first week in August 2019 as 'World Breastfeeding Week', and designating August 2019 as 'National Breastfeeding Month." Resolutions are used to express intent, principles, facts, opinions, and the purposes of the House or the Senate. Learn more about each resolution and use the USBC simple messaging tool to urge your Members of Congress to support breastfeeding and the breastfeeding families they represent by co-sponsoring these resolutions. Take action today and help spread the word by sharing this opportunity with your network! 
Paid Family Leave Brief
1,000 Days has published "The First 1,000 Days: The Case for Paid Leave in America," a brief on paid family leave presenting findings from a wide-ranging body of research on family and medical leave and its impact on maternal health as well as child health and development. They conclude with a call to action urging policymakers to enact a national paid leave policy that ensures all workers can take the time they need to attend to their health needs and care for their loved ones without jeopardizing their economic security.
UC Davis Maternal & Child Nutrition Graduate Program
The UC Davis Master of Advanced Study in Maternal and Child Nutrition is now accepting applications for fall 2020. 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. To learn more about this program, designed specifically for full-time, working professionals, join the webinar on October 2, hosted by program director Dr. Jane Heinig and program coordinator Chelsea Norris. Register today! 
California WIC Association
3120 Freeboard Dr., Suite 101, West Sacramento, CA 95691

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