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CWA Flash E-Newsletter - September 2, 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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Recognizing Wellness Leaders
There were some popular Wellness Leaders at the conference supporting WIC staff wellness. Destiny Frye, Grounded Self-Care Studio, lead virtual grounding sessions and deep breathing for relaxation and stress management. You can check out her resources that may be helpful for your journey.
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WIC Food Package Changes Proposed, NWA Opposes
In mid-August, Rep. Fred Keller (R-PA) introduced the GIVE MILK Act, to modify the WIC food package to provide two-percent and whole milk as part of the child food package, contrary to the scientific recommendations of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). In 2017, NASEM issued recommendations for improving the quality of the WIC food package - none of which included additional fat-content in milk. USDA has not yet implemented the changes reflected in the 2017 NASEM report, instead waiting for the final 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In response to this legislation, Rev. Douglas Greenaway, President & CEO of the National WIC Association, issued the following statement: "The foods available to WIC are nutritionally tailored to the developmental needs of babies and young children, and any change to these options are handled in consultation with scientific experts. While we appreciate Rep. Keller's interest in supporting WIC families, this legislation would subvert the carefully crafted food package science-based review process that prioritizes the healthy growth of babies and young children."
Extension of WIC Waivers Needed
On Monday, the National WIC Association (NWA), American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) jointly called on USDA to immediately extend waivers for state WIC agencies through the duration of the COVID-19 emergency period. The waivers have allowed local WIC agencies to continue serving families safely by mitigating in-person requirements. Failure to extend these waivers would result in the premature reopening of clinics - undermining operational capacity, deterring WIC participation, and leaving pregnant women, babies, and young children at risk of contracting COVID-19. With only one month left until the existing waivers expire, USDA must provide clarity and flexibility for the nation's WIC providers. ACTION:With WIC waivers set to expire on September 30, the WIC community must speak with one voice to urge USDA to extend waivers and ensure WIC providers have all the flexibilities necessary to ensure safe operations. USDA needs to hear from state and local WIC providers, advocates who serve families, and additional community stakeholders. Below are resources advocating for WIC waiver extension for the duration of the pandemic:
  • Waiver Talking Points. NWA has compiled talking points that highlight the need for WIC waiver extensions. Use these in your conversations with advocates, legislators, and other stakeholders.
  • Get involved on social media. Take a photo of yourself with your mask on and hold up a card stating why WIC waivers are critical - post as soon as possible using the #WICWaiversWork or #DoRightFeedKids. Join us on September 15 for a Twitter Chat.
  • Letter to USDA. Send a letter to USDA urging them to extend WIC waivers. NWA has developed a template that your local agency can draw from and adapt.
  • Letter to the editor. Reach out to your local media and pitch a letter to the editor, which elevates the community conversation about WIC and potentially reaches families that are eligible but not yet participating. NWA has developed a template that you can adapt as you reach out to local media partners.
CA Wraps Up Legislative Session
The CA State Legislative Session came to a close late Monday night in what some are calling one of the strangest Sessions ever. The year began with a huge state budget surplus but by March when the COVID-19 pandemic hit California, the Legislature went on an unprecedented two month long recess, gave broad executive power authority to the Governor, and did not return to work until May. By then, CA was facing a $54.4 billion state budget shortfall and the legislature was forced to pare down the number of bills under consideration and pass a bare bones state budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year. That state budget was also predicated on additional funding to California from the federal government. We shall see if that materializes and some are still talking about a possible Special Session of the Legislature this fall. We won't know about that until later this year. On the good news front, the CA State Legislature sent several key bills to the Governor's desk including two family leave bills: SB 1383 (Jackson), which would expand the current threshold of up to 12 weeks, or 4 months, of job-protected family leave from companies with 50 employees or more to companies with 5 employees or more, as well as guarantee leave be granted for new parents to bond with a child or to care for sick children, parents, grandparents, and other direct family members, and AB 3216 (Kalra)which provides a right of recall and retention for workers who have been laid off in the heavily COVID-impacted industries of hotels, airport hospitality, event centers and building services, and require that companies here with at least five employees must guarantee workers their jobs after they take leave to care for a new baby or a sick loved one. The Governor's wife and his chief of staff are in strong support of this measure and CWA was proud to join the California Work and Family Coalition in working on the bill's passage. The Session was not without its share of drama: Senate Republican Caucus Chair Brian Jones had tested positive for COVID-19, after attending meetings and gatherings with several other Senators. Nearly all of the Republican Senators had to self-quarantine, and thus vote remotely from their homes or Sacramento area apartments. Remote voting was allowed in the State Senate but not in the State Assembly. The same week, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks had her request to vote remotely due to having recently given birth denied - she ended up bringing her one month old infant daughter with her to the State Assembly Floor to vote in person (including her aye vote on the previously mentioned family leave measures) well into the evening. Speaker Anthony Rendon later issued an apology for not having granted Assemblymember Wicks' request to vote remotely. 

CWA News
Empowered Young Families Unite, Inspire, Uplift!
Last week 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, wehad 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
Clues About How Breastfeeding Protects Against Type 2 Diabetes
The findings of a small study from UT Southwestern, published in this month's print issue of Diabetes, suggest breastfeeding secures delivery of sugar and fat for milk production by changing the insulin sensitivity of organs that supply or demand these nutrients. Other studies have shown that breastfeeding protects women from developing Type 2 diabetes, but how this benefit arises has been unclear. The new research suggests that breastfeeding appears to increase insulin sensitivity in highly insulin-sensitive organs. After a 12-hour fast, the liver and fat tissues of lactating mothers release more sugar and fat into the bloodstream than formula-feeding mothers; however, after food intake lactating mothers respond to small increases in insulin levels by holding on to more stored fat than formula-feeding mothers. Both conditions maximize the nutrients available for making milk in breastfeeding women, providing a steady stream from either stored resources or food intake. Better understanding of this process could help researchers find new ways to help encourage it in mothers who would like to breastfeed but are having problems with low milk supply - finding ways to stimulate insulin-sensitive tissues to supply more nutrients into or demand less nutrients from the bloodstream could boost milk production.
Children Notice Race Several Years Before Adults Want to Talk About It
Adults in the U.S. believe children should be almost 5 years old before talking with them about race, even though some infants are aware of race and preschoolers may have already developed racist beliefs, according to new research - in which more than half of the participants and 40% were people of color - published by the American Psychological Association. Delays in these important conversations could make it more difficult to change children's mis-perceptions or racist beliefs, said researchers.
Studies Indicate that Children Carry, Spread COVID Without Symptoms
Children infected with COVID-19 can carry high levels of the virus even when they have few or no symptoms, according to a Massachusetts General Hospital study published Thursday that bolsters growing evidence that kids catch the virus even though they rarely get very sick from it. Researchers point out that if children can carry the virus in high numbers in their airways, they can certainly spread the virus, and education and public health officials must keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to open schools. Some experts who were not involved in the research disputed that conclusion, pointing out that the test used to detect coronavirus only shows the presence of viral genetic material, not live virus, and it doesn't indicate how infectious a person is. Other experts praised the research, calling it useful and well done. The findings are not entirely new. A small study published in late July had also found that children have coronavirus in their noses and throats at levels similar to adults.

California Paid Leave Education Training Opportunity
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 California Work and Family Coalition is launching a new Paid Leave Education project where members and community leaders can receive on-going training and support to become a paid leave educator/resource in your workplace or community. Please see below for more details and indicate if you are interested in learning more by filling out this brief survey. The Coalition will hold an initial informational meeting (via ZOOM) where you can learn more and give input on what training and resources would be most helpful. For questions, please contact Charlette Flanders, charlette@workfamilyca.org.
Head Start California 2020 Virtual Health Institute
Health services are shifting in response to COVID-19 and staying up-to-date is critical for staff as centers prepare for re-opening or continue services in our virtual world. Join Head Start California on Sept. 14-16 for a three-day virtual conference including 45+ sessions, two live keynotes, interactive Q&A sessions, exciting networking opportunities, and more. Ensure your center staff is aware of best practice strategies, state and federal guidance, and the recommended tools to provide effective and safe services to children and families this fall. We welcome early childhood health managers, health & safety coordinators, family service workers, nutrition specialists, and anyone looking to expand their knowledge on health topics. Register now!
UC Davis Maternal and Child Nutrition Program
The UC Davis Master of Advanced Study in Maternal and Child Nutrition Program is designed to provide a strong scientific background while training professionals to design, implement and evaluate nutrition intervention programs for mothers and children from a wide variety of cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds. Join Program Director Dr. Jane Heinig and staff on October 2 for an interactive online information session to learn about courses, prerequisites, applications, potential careers and even hear from Program Director Dr. Jane Heinig. Register today!
Healthy People 2030
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion released Healthy People 2030 (HP2030), the fifth iteration of the national Healthy People Initiative. The Healthy People Initiative focuses on critical health promotion and disease prevention topics to guide efforts to improve public health.  Be sure to check out the maternal and child health objectives, including for breastfeeding. Learn more about HP2030 and the public comment process.
2020 Breastfeeding Report Card Released
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity released the "Breastfeeding Report Card United States, 2020." The Breastfeeding Report Card provides a compilation of data on breastfeeding practices and supports in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This year's Breastfeeding Report Card highlights data from CDC's 2018 national survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) survey. The mPINC survey assesses hospital practices and policies that affect newborn feeding, feeding education and support, staff skills, and discharge support. The report also includes data from the National Immunization Survey, which provides information about breastfeeding rates at both national and state levels by birth year. The 2020 Breastfeeding Report Card shows that among infants born in 2017, 84.1% initiated breastfeeding, a slight increase from 2016, and, of note, the percentage of infants supplemented with formula before 2 days of age increased by 16.9% to 19.2%.

California WIC Association
3960 Industrial Blvd., Suite 500 West Sacramento, CA 95691

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