MARCH 8 2022
WIC Benefit Bump Must Be Extended by March 11th
This Friday, the current continuing resolution will expire, and Congress must take action to avert a government shutdown. We have consistently urged Congress to extend the WIC benefit bump through the end of the fiscal year in an omnibus package, and in recent weeks have met with CA Congressional offices to urge their support. NWA, in partnership with researchers from the Nutrition Policy Institute, released a new report last week on the impact of the WIC benefit bump.
112 Legislators Sign On to Food Package Letter
Last week, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Reps. Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Don Young (R-AK) led a bipartisan, bicameral effort urging USDA to issue a proposed rule that would revise the WIC food packages. The letter, signed by more than one hundred members of Congress (two dozen from California), called for USDA to build on the 2017 recommendations of the National Academies of Sciences by allowing under-consumed food groups - such as fruits, vegetables, and seafood - to be issued in amounts above cost neutrality. This critical investment will assure that WIC can more robustly address the nutrient needs of young families and align WIC participants' diets with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 
FDA Expands Infant Formula Advisory
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded its advisory on certain infant formulas to include an additional lot of specialty Similac PM 60/40. Abbott Nutrition recalled the specialty product after learning of a second infant death that may be connected to Cronobacter sakazakii. WIC providers must continue to educate participants and vendors about available substitution options while cautioning about the risks of using the recalled product, diluting formula, or making homemade formula. NWA has issued updated social media resources in English and Spanish to help agencies inform participants about the recall. The toolkit is available here and will be updated on a regular basis. 
CA Disparities in Paid Family Leave Access
California workers who earn low wages are less likely to take paid family leave, even though they pay into the paid leave program and are eligible. Many Californians would struggle to pay their bills with the PFL wage replacement (60-70% of their wages), and these low payment rates block access to paid family leave for workers. This is especially the case for workers with low wages who are disproportionately women, Black, and Latinx Californians. In 2020, more than 18 million workers in California contributed to paid family leave and were eligible to utilize the program. Of those, 37% were workers with less than $20,000 in annual wages. Of these same workers, only 14% utilized paid family leave. SB 951 (Durazo) would address the low wage-replacement rate, making PFL accessible to more low-income families.
Medi-Cal’s Strategy to Support Health and Opportunity for Children and Families Webinar
CA Dept. of Health Care Services (DHCS), just released, Medi-Cal’s Strategy to Support Health and Opportunity for Children and Families as part of the CalAIM initiative to reform health care. The report describes DHCS’ strategy of existing and newly proposed child and family health initiatives and goals to strengthen DHCS’ accountability and oversight of children’s services. On March 14 plan to attend a webinar providing an overview of eight action areas, detailed initiatives, expected timelines, and Q & A. Advance registration is required. Note pages 6 and 23 for references to WIC linkages & referrals.
California Doula Pilots Lessons Learned Project
The California Doula Pilots Lessons Learned Project is now live. Please visit the project page to see Summaries of California Doula Pilot Programs, Challenges Reported by California Doula Pilot Programs, Lessons Learned from California Doula Pilot Programs and more. Feel free to share the announcement below with your networks. You can also share a web version of the announcement at the link here. National Health Law Program (NHeLP) will also be sharing on our Facebook and Twitter if you'd prefer to engage in that way.
CWA’s 30th Conference and Trade Show - REGISTRATION OPEN!

One of the highlights of CWA’s 30th Conference – The Power of Community – is keynote speaker Bryant Terry. Bryant is a James Beard & NAACP Image Award-winning chef, educator, and author renowned for his activism to create a healthy, just, and sustainable food system. He is editor-in-chief of 4 Color Books and co-principal and innovation director of Zenmi, a creative studio he founded. Since 2015 he has been the Chef-in-Residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco where he creates public programming at the intersection of food, farming, health, activism, art, culture, and the African Diaspora. His sixth book, a collection of recipes, art, and stories, entitled Black Food was published by 4 Color Books/Ten Speed Press October 2021. It went on to be the most critically acclaimed American cookbook published that year landing on lists by The New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Time Out, NPR, Los Angeles Times, Food52, Glamour, Vice, Epicurious, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and others. Regarding his work, Bryant’s mentor Alice Waters says, “Bryant Terry knows that good food should be an everyday right and not a privilege.” San Francisco Magazine included Bryant among 11 Smartest People in the Bay Area Food Scene, and Fast Company named him one of 9 People Who Are Changing the Future of Food
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 this Friday, March 11th.
Genetic Mutation May Identify Women With Difficulty Producing Breast Milk
Some mothers report stopping breastfeeding due to a perceived lack of milk supply. Researchers found in a recent study that women who stopped breastfeeding because they believed they had inadequate milk supply -- a condition called perceived inadequate milk supply (PIMS) -- are more likely to have a specific mutation in a gene found in mammary tissue.

10.8 Percent of Children Live in Households With Food Insecurity
In 2019 to 2020, 10.8 percent of children lived in households that experienced food insecurity, according to a February data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Breastfeeding May Reduce Risk of Gestational Diabetes in Subsequent Pregnancies
The risk of recurrent gestational diabetes was reduced by both increased duration and intensity of breastfeeding - risk was reduced by 18% if a woman had breastfed longer than six months. Researchers suggest antenatal lactation education should be embedded into care pathways for women diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Maternal Diet During Pregnancy May Impact Development of Asthma, Allergies in Offspring
A maternal diet with plenty of vegetables and limited fried, low-fiber and sugary foods may prevent asthma and allergies in offspring, according to a speaker at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting.

Stressful News Cycles: Staying Informed While Protecting Your Mental Health
Let’s face it: 2022 hasn’t exactly gotten off to a stellar start. From Covid’s massive Omicron wave to war in Ukraine, most people have been dealing with a daily barrage of upsetting news. So, how can you effectively manage your mental health while still staying informed? Here are four tips from top experts.
UC Davis Maternal and Child Nutrition Master’s Program
There is still time to apply to the fall 2022 UC Davis Maternal and Child Nutrition Master’s Program. The general application deadline is April 15.

This part-time program focuses on training graduate students for careers in the public health sector and provides all students a learner-centered education and strong scientific background. Graduates of the program have moved on to positions as WIC directors, hospital dietitians, lactation consultants, or pursued medical school.

Free Info Session: To learn more about this program, join director Dr. Jane Heinig at the next free, online information on Friday, April 1 at 6:30 p.m. Register here
Disaster Preparedness
As climate change becomes an ever-increasing problem we find ourselves facing natural disasters - such as wildfires - on a yearly basis here in California. While many federal, state, and local agencies invest in resources for disaster readiness, the special needs of vulnerable populations during disasters are often disregarded. WIC Can Help by becoming familiar with local, state, and federal resources that would be appropriate to refer families to in the event of a crisis.
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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