JANUARY 25 2022
WIC Benefit Bump Must Be Extended Beyond March 31
Last week NWA led a broad coalition of WIC providers, maternal and public health organizations, children's advocates, farmers, retail grocers, researchers, and other advocates to push for continued inclusion of the WIC benefit bump in the upcoming fiscal year 2022 omnibus package. Without action by Congress, the WIC benefit bump will expire on March 31.
Tax Season - What to Know
There are a few reasons this year for individuals and families to file taxes early to ensure they get full tax benefits for the support they might have received, or are still eligible to receive, due to the pandemic. Between 2020 and 2021 some taxation on benefits changed, and some benefits might be tax free for federal taxes but taxed by the state. Some resources to start checking out include the child tax credit, related resources, and a portal for families for the child tax credit, (some child tax credits can only be claimed by filing your taxes), pandemics stimulus checks and unemployment benefits payments.
WIC Policy and Participation During the Pandemic
New research published by USDA/FNS reports on state WIC programs experiences with use of waivers during the pandemic, especially remote services and remote benefits issuance. Participant survey data in CA and other states related to the enhanced CVB benefits, and USDA pandemic waivers, show the positive responses by participants for the flexibilities, especially remote services, and extra fruit and vegetable benefits. This information identifies actions that can counter decades long low participation in WIC, including during the pandemic, to support lasting improvements in WIC participation and outcomes.
Gov Newsom, Leadership Reach Deal on COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Leave

Gov. Newsom announced today a deal with legislative leaders to restore up to two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave for those ill with COVID-19, quarantining, or caring for children who are home from school or childcare due to COVID-19. Previously the supplemental pandemic leave provided by SB 95 had expired on September 30th. The new provision applies to those who work for employers with more than 25 employees. Thank you to Governor Newsom, CA Leadership and The CA Work and Family Coalition for spearheading advocacy on this issue.
CA Redistricting is Complete

In late December, the Independent Commission charged with updating Congressional Districts, using 2020 Census data, approved the final maps. For the first time, California lost a seat in Congress, which also reduces the electoral votes for CA and federal program funding. Primary elections begin in June, defined by the new districts. You can compare the current and new districts here and also see some analytics and demographics. your state and Congressional District here.
The Power of Community: CWA’s 30th Conference and Trade Show - REGISTRATION OPEN!

The Power of Community, 30th Annual CWA Conference is May 9-12 . We are excited to bring you a powerhouse lineup of speakers. We are mixing it up a bit by offering concurrent sessions for portions of the conference, which will give attendees the chance to gain 30+ CEUs. Registration fees are the same as last year, and we continue to offer a discounted rate for students, breastfeeding peer counselors, and retirees! Contact Grace at gharrelson@calwic.org for registration questions
Wellness News

Check out the latest issue of W3, CWA's monthly Wellness Newsletter. This month's issue is all about reducing financial stress and smart grocery shopping, including a tasty and affordable recipe to try, as well as apps to help you budget and plan for the future. 
We Want Your Story!

Twice a year, CWA publishes the WIC Watch - a magazine for WIC staff, partner organizations, and any folks interested in all things WIC! We welcome your story submissions for our spring issue, the deadline is March 11th.
Pandemic Housing Burden for WIC families
Using 2020 Los Angeles County WIC Survey data is a report on the pandemic's contribution to housing-cost burden among WIC households in LA county. The data indicated that 61% of WIC households reported housing-cost burden, with two-thirds attributing the burden to the pandemic. Gratitude for leading this work to authors, Professor Nabiri, who completed her graduate work at PHFE with Dr. Whaley, and the PHFE staff who supported the research. 

Cash Aid to Poor Mothers Increases Brain Activity in Babies
A study that provided poor mothers with cash stipends for the first year of their children’s lives appears to have changed the babies’ brain activity in ways associated with stronger cognitive development, a finding with potential implications for safety net policy.

COVID-19 May Cause More Complications Later in Pregnancy
Women who have COVID-19 later in their pregnancy and who are unvaccinated are more likely to have complications than women who get the disease earlier in their pregnancy, according to a study published in Nature Medicine. San Francisco Dept. of Public Health WIC recently partnered with the Abundant Birth Project, the nation's first pregnancy income supplement to reduce preterm birth and improve family outcomes.

Reusing and Storing N95 Masks
More and more experts have recommended to forego cloth masks or surgical masks in favor of N95 or KF94 masks during the Omicron surge. So how many times can you wear your N95 before it's no longer effective? Here is some guidance!
Face Mask 2
Mother's Milk Bank in Need
Do you have extra breast milk? The Mothers’ Milk Bank needs your help! They are in need of donations. Breast milk is lifesaving to all medically vulnerable babies. Please start the process online today or call us! https://mothersmilk.org/donate-milk/ or 877-375-6645, option 3. Join us in helping babies thrive! Please share! 
Child Care
Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions parents make, and figuring out how to pay for it is a big factor. WIC Can Help connect families with child care programs that provide safe and affordable care so that children stay healthy and are prepared for kindergarten while parents find and retain jobs.
Support CWA online!
As a nonprofit membership organization, CWA relies on the contributions of many organizations and individuals to help us achieve our mission. There are many ways to give of your time, talents, or resources to help CWA promote healthy families, strong communities, and bright futures! We appreciate all forms of support and invite you to join us!
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