FEBRUARY 28, 2023
USDA Proposes Rule Change to Modernize WIC Shopping Experience 

Earlier this month, USDA announced
proposed changes to allow online transactions in WIC. These changes would
create a more convenient, and equitable WIC shopping experience for participants. The proposed rule is open for public comment from February 23 to May 24, 2023. NWA and FNS are cohosting a stakeholder briefing to go over key changes in the proposed rule. The briefing will be held this Friday, March 3 at 4:00 pm ET. Please register here and share with your network. Additional information, including a Q&A, can be found here
Bill to Expand FMLA Coverage Introduced
At the beginning of February, Senator Tammy Duckworth and Representative Sean Casten reintroduced the ESP Family Leave Act (S.226/H.R. 770). This bill would expand the Family and Medical Leave Act to cover the 2.7 million education support professionals (ESPs) and other school support staff who are currently blocked from accessing FMLA benefits.
Biden Administration Allowing State Medicaid Funds to Cover Groceries, Nutritional Care
The Biden administration has started allowing state Medicaid funds to be used to pay for groceries and dietary advice in an effort to promote better overall health and wellness among the population and to decrease the need for expensive medical interventions.
"Hunger Cliff" for SNAP Participants
Thirty two states are rolling back their emergency SNAP allotments, which bolstered food-stamp benefits at the start of the pandemic, starting today. California is among those 32 states, and 5.1 million SNAP participants in the state are projected to lose an average of $82 in SNAP benefits per month - That means a family of four could see their monthly benefit cut by about $328 a month.
California's COVID State of Emergency Has Ended
California’s state of emergency declaration, a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ended on February 28. The federal state of emergency also ends this spring, on May 11. The end of these national emergencies will have big effects upon nationwide funding for COVID vaccines and testing. Thanks to laws that have been passed in California, Californians will be able to keep a lot more COVID coverage than folks living in other states, but the national-level declarations will have other significant impacts.
Release of 2020 CA In-Hospital Breastfeeding Data
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health (MCAH) Division is pleased to announce that the 2020 in-hospital breastfeeding data have been posted to the CDPH In-Hospital Breastfeeding Initiation Data website. The data include California hospital, County, and State breastfeeding rates. The CDPH Breastfeeding website contains information about resources and technical assistance to support developing hospital policies to increase exclusive breastfeeding in the early postpartum period, including updated 2022 California Breastfeeding Model Hospital Policy Recommendations.
Health and WIC Workforce
The CA Dept. of Health Care Access and Information just released an annual report for the CA legislature, on the CA health work force. And USDA recently announced plans to develop a national WIC workforce strategy. In the next month, CWA will wrap up listening sessions focused on the WIC workforce, publishing the findings this summer.
Welcome Vanessa!

CWA would like to welcome our new administrative coordinator to the team, Vanessa Garcia! Vanessa comes from a background in direct services and holds a lot of passion for improving the lives of others. We're excited to have her in the office, and if you receive an email from her or see her at a meeting or event, be sure to say hello!
Abbott Under Criminal Investigation Over Formula Crisis
In January, the Department of Justice confirmed that there is an ongoing criminal probe into actions taken by Abbott Nutrition in the lead-up to its nationwide recall of infant formula products. As families have struggled to find infant formula over the last year, a whistleblower alleged that Abbott employees had falsified documents, covered up violations of safety regulations, and misled FDA inspectors.

CDC Adds Covid-19 Vaccinations to Immunization Schedules for Children, Adults
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added Covid-19 vaccinations for children, adolescents and adults to its immunization schedule. These updates reflect current agency recommendations. Adding them formalizes that guidance for health care providers and schools.

Half of American Kids Don't Eat a Daily Vegetable, CDC Finds
Almost half of U.S. children aged 1 to 5 years did not eat a daily vegetable and around one-third did not eat a daily fruit in 2021, Meanwhile, 57.1% of 2021 National Survey of Children’s Health respondents indicated their child had consumed a sugar-sweetened beverage at least once in the prior week.

Study Finds Disparities in Pediatric Care Disruption During Pandemic
Urban families, Black and multiracial children and families with low socioeconomic status faced the highest rates of pediatric care disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic, a study found.

A Month of Indoor Walking Workouts
While we love to get our vitamin D with a brisk outdoor walk, that's not always possible, especially with the wet and snowy weather that much of California has been experiencing in recent weeks. Bring your walk inside with this month of indoor walking workouts! You might miss out on the vitamin D, but you'll still burn a few calories and get the endorphins!
UC Davis Maternal & Child Nutrition Graduate Program

There is still time to apply to the UC Davis Master of Advanced Study in Maternal and Child Nutrition, starting this fall.
By providing an inclusive, learner-centered education, this unique program is focused on training graduate students for careers in public health and building their strong scientific background. Graduates of the program have moved on to positions as WIC directors, hospital dietitians, lactation consultants, or have pursued medical school.

You’ll have the flexibility of working while in the part-time program or even participating via broadcast, providing greater access to internationally-recognized leaders and opportunities to advance your career.
The next application deadline is April 15. Don’t miss an opportunity to be a part of this impactful program. Learn more.
Tax Credits & Tax Preparation Assistance
Throughout California, millions of people are working hard to make life better for themselves and their families. The California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is still going strong and, as always, the federal EITC and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are programs that in 2016 lifted an estimated 6.5 million people out of poverty, including 3.3 million children. WIC Can Help by informing participants about their eligibility for various tax credits, and referring to local free tax preparation services.
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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