AUGUST 23 2022

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USDA Sends Food Package Revisions to OMB

At the end of July, the White House Office of Budget and Management (OMB) received USDA's proposed food package revisions for regulatory review. It is our hope that this is the first step toward adopting NASEM recommendations to improve the WIC food package and increase the amount of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fish. To learn more about OMB’s rulemaking process and how to submit comments, reference NWA’s Fact Sheet Speaking Out During the Rulemaking Process.

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COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Likely to Be Extended

The US Dept. of Health and Human Services has not notified state and local public health officials that the COVID-19 public health emergency will expire or be terminated, indicating it will likely be extended in mid-October for another 90 days. This means that regulatory flexibilities granted in response to the pandemic, including flexibilities such as remote services for WIC, will remain in place.

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USDA Extends Formula Waivers

Today USDA extended a series of waivers to allow WIC state agencies, with the necessary agreements from their infant formula contract manufacturers, to offer participants additional infant formula options, such as alternate sizes, forms and brands. The waivers, which were previously set to expire at the end of September, will now be available through the earlier of either Dec. 31, 2022, or 60 days after the expiration of the state’s COVID-19 major disaster declaration, ensuring WIC families have continued access to the formula they need. The planned Dec. 31 expiration date will provide state agencies with continued flexibility while the nationwide supply of infant formula recovers.

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White House Hunger Conference

To inform the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, a Task Force formed to create an advisory report, Ambitious, Actionable Recommendations to End Hunger, Advance Nutrition and Improve Health in the United States, using input from cross sector advisors, experts and stakeholders. The report and press release should be shared widely. NWA and CWA participated in the meetings where input was taken for the report. You can register for a webinar on Aug. 31 to learn about the report and recommendations.

CalKIDS Program Launches

As of August 10th, California families of low-income public school students – 3.4 million across the state – can now access college savings accounts created in their children’s names, with seed investments of between $500 and $1,500. The CalKIDS program invests $1.9 billion into accounts for low-income school-age children in grades 1-12 and for newborn children born on or after July 1, 2022. Check here for eligibility and access information. 

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Happy National Breastfeeding Month!

We kicked off August with World Breastfeeding Week, just wrapped up AANHPI Breastfeeding Week, and are heading into Black Breastfeeding Week. If you would like help promoting your August breastfeeding/chestfeeding events, please send details and graphics to, we are happy to add them to our events page or share on social media. We'd also love to feature your WIC breastfeeding/chestfeeding events in the fall issue of the WIC Watch, so be sure to take lots of pictures and send them to Sarah!

Check Out CWA's YouTube Channel!

CWA has been working to re-vamp our YouTube Channel with clearer titles and playlists. Check it out to find previous webinars, WIC Worksite Wellness content, as well as a collection of WIC participant stories about the CVB increase, breastfeeding peer counselors, and more!
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New Survey: Bridging WIC & Medicaid for Maternal Health

A patient survey sponsored by health tech company Pacify points out opportunities for Medicaid and WIC to improved collaboration. The survey results were covered in Fierce Healthcare and Healthcare Finance, and suggest that coordination could boost participation in both programs and improve maternal health outcomes. 

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Air Pollution and Children's Health

New research linking air pollution data from federal monitors in the Sacramento area of California, including during significant fires, is showing ill effects of pollution exposure among children, a new study suggests.  

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California Starting the School Year With Free School Meals

This year, California’s Universal Meals Program will provide funding for breakfast and lunch each school day to students who request a meal, regardless of whether they qualify for free or reduced price meals already. It will include students in state public school districts, charter schools and other public classrooms. This comes has elsewhere in the U.S., the free school lunches offered during the pandemic have ended, so families will once again have to apply to receive free or reduced school meals.

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Why Aren't More Eligible Americans Using WIC?

Despite an uptick in food security hurdles like inflation and the formula shortage, many eligible families still don't participate in WIC, citing transportation, scheduling conflicts, and stigma. WIC modernization has made significant progress and some issues are being addressed via Child Nutrition Reauthorization, but it's important to maintain momentum. 

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A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

Mindfulness has long been touted as a way to boost mental, emotional and physical well-being. But how do you start? Check out these beginner tips for mindfulness and meditation!

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From CBPP FAQ: Medicaid Unwinding Tips for Community Partners:


From CBPP Blog: States Can Help Eligible Immigrants Keep Medicaid Coverage at PHE’s End

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Reducing Stigma in Monkeypox Communication and Community Engagement and the California Department of Public Health’s toolkit messaging for sharing.


CalFresh, California’s name for food stamps or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), can add to many WIC families’ food budgets and help them put healthy and nutritious food on the table. CalFresh also stimulates our economy & supports communities. FRAC reports that every dollar in SNAP benefits created at least $1.79 in economic activity. And according to USDA research, SNAP reduced child poverty by over 15.5% from 2000 to 2009. WIC Can Help by referring families to CalFresh to make sure they maximize their food access. 

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