NOVEMBER 14, 2023

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House Passes Continuing Resolution

The House has passed a bipartisan “laddered” continuing resolution, that will fund parts of the government (including agriculture) until Jan. 19 and others until Feb. 2., averting a government shutdown ahead of the Friday deadline. The CR leaves out any of the emergency funding the Biden Administration had requested, including funding for WIC. The bill will now head to the Senate, where leadership has indicted they will support it. Thus far, both the Senate and the House proposals for WIC have fallen far short of what would be needed to serve all eligible participants and keep the CVB for fruit and vegetables intact. NWA, CWA, and partners are continuing to advocate for full funding for WIC.

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Senators Pressley, Booker Reintroduce MOMMIES Act

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced the Maximizing Outcomes for Moms through Medicaid Improvement and Enhancement of Services (MOMMIES) Act, legislation that would seek to improve maternal health outcomes with a series of Medicaid improvements, including extending postpartum coverage from two months to a full year after childbirth; ensuring that all pregnant and postpartum people have full Medicaid coverage, rather than coverage that can be limited to pregnancy-related services; and increasing access to primary care providers and reproductive health providers.

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New Report Shows WIC Reached Half of Eligible Individuals in 2021

Earlier this month, USDA released a new analysis of WIC participation from 2021, showing that nearly half of those eligible for WIC were not enrolled participants. California's coverage rate was above the national average, at 66.5% of eligible individuals participating. WIC enrollment has been climbing in recent years, with significant growth in 2022 and 2023, but this analysis underscores the importance of fully investing in WIC to ensure that every eligible family that seeks WIC benefits can be served, as well as the need to continue addressing longstanding barriers to program engagement. You can find NWA’s full statement on the report here.

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Poverty Rising in CA

California’s poverty rate climbed in the first quarter of 2023 – with child poverty up more significantly from 9% in 2021 to 14% in early 2023 – largely due to the expiration of pandemic social safety net expansions, according to a report from the Public Policy Institute of California. 

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California Nutrition Corps Scholarships Applications Open!

The California Nutrition Corps scholarship fund established in 2003 to support employees of California local WIC programs who are advancing their professional careers within the WIC program with the goal of nurturing and supporting individuals with the competency, talent, and dedication that are key to WIC’s proven effectiveness. Frontline WIC staff from the community, often graduates of WIC themselves, need more affordable, convenient and achievable opportunities in order to complete their educational goals and professional training. Celebrating our 21st year of the California Nutrition Corps, we are pleased to announce the upcoming release of the 2023-2024 CNC Scholarship Applications available to current employees of local California WIC programs.

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Read the Fall Issue of CWA's WIC Watch Magazine Now!

We're pleased to share the Fall 2023 issue of the WIC Watch! This is a great opportunity to read news from CWA, local WIC agencies, and partner organizations. Have a great idea for a story? It's never too early to submit for the next issue! Contact Sarah to learn more! Stories for the Spring Issue are due January 17th, 2024.

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Breastfeeding Rates Increased Among Low-Income Women from 2009-2017

From 2009 to 2017, rates of breastfeeding initiation increased among low-income women regardless of WIC participation or race/ethnicity. Black women’s rates of breastfeeding initiation increased the most of any racial/ethnic group, reducing the disparity in rates of breastfeeding initiation between non-Hispanic Black women (both WIC participants and WIC-eligible nonparticipants) and women in other racial and ethnic groups.

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Participants in Food as Medicine Program Showed Improvements in Managing Diabetes

A study of a Stockton, CA "Food as Medicine" pilot program showed that diabetic participants who received a prescription box of healthy foods were able to improve their A1C, food security, self-management of diabetes, and overall diet.

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Infant Mortality in the U.S. Rose Last Year

The U.S. infant mortality rate rose 3% last year — the largest increase in two decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Dramatic Rise in Pediatric Gun-Related Injuries During Pandemic

Pediatric ED visits for firearm injuries nearly doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with earlier trends, according to a study published in Pediatrics.

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California WIC New Year Fitness Challenge is Just Around the Corner!


California WIC, get ready for the next WIC Fitness Challenge Jan 1-31. We will have a team walking challenge and individual biking and running challenges as well! Let’s start the New Year off right!


Stay tuned for two upcoming Pacer for Teams virtual training dates in December. These 30-minute training workshops will help everyone get the most out of the fitness app. For questions, email Jodi at

November is National Diabetes Month, see resources from CDPH and MCAH: 

Gestational Diabetes and Postpartum Care

National Partnership for Women and Families issue brief: “BLACK WOMEN’S MATERNAL HEALTH - A Multifaceted Approach to Addressing Persistent and Dire Health Disparities"

The U.S. Breastfeeding Committee released a call for stories on experiences accessing breast pumps and lactation supplies.

Free Perinatal Mental Health Trainings

Did you know that one in five birthing people in California experience perinatal depression and anxiety?

Take the free Perinatal Mental Health 101 and 201 trainings to learn more about this important topic and how to better support your clients and their families. These interactive trainings are online, self-paced, and filled with compelling, personal videos. 


Learners are eligible for six free CEs or CMEs upon completion of the 101 training and an additional three free CEs or CMEs upon completion of the 201 training.


In the trainings, you’ll learn about disparities in perinatal mental health care; the impact of stress and trauma during the perinatal period; how to screen, assess, and make referrals; how to respond to perinatal mental health conditions in timely, informed, and culturally appropriate ways; and more. The trainings are anti-racist and inclusive of all, specifically including the LBGTQIA community and those of varying racial and ethnic identities.


UCLA and Maternal Mental Health NOW created the trainings, with support from the California Health Care Foundation.

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