Announcing the WIC Technology Resource Group, a Learning Partnership Dedicated to Enhancing WIC Technology
Building off of the momentum of the instructive modern technology workshop at last month's NWA conference, NWA is thrilled to announce the formation of the WIC Technology Resource Group, a resource and learning partnership between NWA and Nava, a government technology consultancy and public benefit corporation (Nava PBC), with contributions from Code for America, a nonprofit focused on digital tools for government. This partnership will serve as a knowledge-sharing group aligned in our vision of using technology to improve and enhance the WIC experience. Some of the group’s resources, which provide guidance on the basic principles of human-centered technology practices, are now available on the WIC Hub. Check out toolkits on topics such as the strategic importance of setting goals, using a module approach to plan and manage a technology build, and engaging users through the build process. Learn more about the partnership on NWA’s blog.
Multi-generational living is on the rise, and the role of grandparents as caregivers is increasingly important. Our colleagues at 1,000 Days have built a new suite of materials targeted at grandparents that highlight how making simple choices, like avoiding sugary drinks and serving plain milk or water, can make a big difference in a child’s health. Check out these videos to learn more, and visit HealthyDrinksHealthyKids.org for more resources.
How is your WIC agency monitoring the temporary CVB increase impact? NWA’s Evaluation Committee has developed this guidance to encourage State and Local WIC agencies to capture data and stories that demonstrate its impact. The three main recommendations are:
If you have any questions, please contact Georgia Machell, email@example.com.
The National WIC Association has created an updated toolkit with graphics in various sizes to help agencies promote the new CVB levels to participants. Click here to view the new toolkit! If you have any questions, please reach out to NWA’s Media Communications Manager, Natalie Moran, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of NWA’s Hispanic Heritage Month programming, NWA held a Facebook Live event last week with Latina WIC providers about engaging Latino/a families in WIC. The panelists spoke about their experience promoting diversity and inclusion within the program. We encourage you to check out the recording. Thank you to Edith Emmet, Monica Esparza, and Adela Garcia for participating in the panel!
Last week, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) released their 3rd annual State of Childhood Obesity report, From Crisis to Opportunity: Reforming Our Nation’s Policies to Help All Children Grow Up Healthy. The report highlights the newest national and state-by-state obesity rate data including that 1 in 6 young people ages 10-17 have obesity. To learn more, check out their website which houses new data, expert perspectives, policy recommendations from the Foundation, and stories of communities taking extraordinary steps to ensure children and families have the foods and resources needed to raise healthy, flourishing kids. A partner toolkit is also available and includes sample posts and imagery for use on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and in email newsletters.
The Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc. (TVCCA) WIC has an amazing web series available to the public titled, “Did you Know”. A brilliant breastfeeding idea from TVCCA WIC’s Breastfeeding Team, the “Did You Know” web series consists of monthly video snippets brought to you by their resident Nutritionist IBCLC, Tamara. Topics range from breastfeeding and immunizations to other WIC-relevant discussions.
Last month, the Economic Policy Institute released a report detailing the potential impact of President Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan. According to the report, 4 million jobs would be supported by the policies in the Agenda, including 1.1 million caregiving jobs. The report notes that, in addition to supporting jobs, the policies would promote an economy that is more “efficient, equitable, sustainable, and prosperous in the long run.”
NWA has created a social media messaging toolkit on the temporary increase to the Cash Value Benefit (CVB). We encourage WIC agencies and partners to share all content within the toolkit through their communication channels.
The toolkit includes:
Please share with your networks. We want to highlight this historic investment in the WIC food package and make sure participants utilize this incredible benefit!
Find all resources on the NWA website, and please share with colleagues, partners, participants, and friends.
If WIC's Cash Value Benefit (CVB) is included in the Continuing Resolution, participants will continue receiving enhanced benefits for veggies and fruits for another year. Check out the most recent participant data from FNS and see just how impactful an extended CVB increase will be for participants.
Click here to read the State-By-State Breakdown of WIC's Cash Value Benefit Increase.
NWA's Communication team has recently launched a new campaign on Instagram, #TastyTuesday. Each week, we will be posting different recipes that use foods from the WIC food package innovatively or creatively. If you would like your recipe to be featured, please send the recipe and a picture to email@example.com.
The National WIC Association has recently launched our TikTok page, @natwicassoc! Like our other platforms, we will use TikTok to engage and introduce Generation Z to the WIC program, mobilize around WIC-specific legislation in Congress, and combat any disinformation about the WIC program on the app. We would also like to highlight the innovation that is happening at WIC agencies across the country. As we work to get the app off the ground, we will have occasional calls for content, so stay tuned for more information soon!
To monitor the ongoing impact of the increase to CVB, NWA will be sharing a monthly survey for state and local WIC agencies to share real-time data and stories that illustrate the CVB increase's impact. We hope to use some of the data to inform several case studies and advocacy materials. Over 100 members shared data from June. Here is a link to the survey where state and local agencies can share data and testimonials from August.
If you cannot answer all the questions, it is not a problem; just complete as much as you can. Conversely, if you have additional data that is not captured through the survey questions but you think is helpful for NWA to know about, we have included space to share other data of interest. If we have questions, will follow up with you directly.
Thank you for all you are doing during this exciting time to increase equitable access to vegetables and fruits. Thank you in advance for sharing your data and your stories to do all we can to advocate for continued increases of this critical benefit. If you have any questions, please reach out to Georgia Machell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take the Survey Here
All August, we have been celebrating the benefits of breastfeeding for WIC families. As the month comes to a close, check out these blog posts and a video below about the importance of breastfeeding to the WIC community.
Engaged Dads have a powerfully positive impact on the health outcomes for their children. We are proud to share two products developed by the NWA Inclusion of Dads Task force. The tools are intended to be used at the WIC clinic setting to influence our perception, acceptance, and normalizing of dads participation in the WIC experience. Our hope is that you review these materials as a team and are inspired. This resource includes:
We appreciate your focus and intention on including Dads in the WIC experience! If you have questions, please contact the Task Force Chair, Todd Mountin, at Todd.Mountin@DOH.WA.GOV.
August 1st marks the beginning of National Breastfeeding Month, celebrating the benefits of breastfeeding for families in the U.S. and worldwide. All month long, we’ll be highlighting breastfeeding in different communities and how we can build a landscape of breastfeeding support. Join us for this celebration by posting a selfie or a video on social media that explains what breastfeeding means to you using the #BreastfeedingIs hashtag. Go to Celebrate August Breastfeeding Month to learn more.
Additionally, NWA's Communications Team has prepared a toolkit to celebrate and honor National Breastfeeding Month for WIC agencies and clinics to post on their social media channels. We look forward to a month full of great dialogue and celebration in honor of National Breastfeeding Month.
Download the Toolkit here.
Are you interested in developing your leadership skills and connecting with your peers across the country? No matter where you work in WIC, honing leadership skills is invaluable for personal and professional growth.
NWA offers a customized online learning experience for building tomorrow’s WIC leaders today. Discover your leadership potential. Develop your portfolio with relevant and realistic projects, and use discussion questions to stretch your skills. Dialogue and solve problems with peers nationwide while working in a flexible space.
Learn More or Register Here.
Download the Cohort 17 Calendar Here.
A new resource is available to help state, and local WIC agencies assess their certification practices to make it easier for families to apply for WIC and continue receiving services for as long as they are eligible. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities compiled ideas and examples gathered from WIC agencies across the country into an online toolkit for "Assessing Your WIC Certification Practices." The toolkit has seven topic areas, each with a set of questions, descriptions of approaches, and examples. While this is not a comprehensive source of all certification practices, the toolkit aims to share ideas and innovations related to certification, coordination, and outreach. The toolkit and many of the examples in it are available on the WIC Hub. WIC agencies are encouraged to submit additional examples of certification practices and tools using a contact form available in the toolkit to maximize the toolkit's usefulness. New examples will be added to the toolkit and the Hub as they become available.
USDA seeks comments from the public on how it can advance racial justice and equity as part of its implementation of Executive Order 13985, Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. USDA seeks input to identify barriers that racial, ethnic, and sexual/gender minorities may face in getting information from USDA. The deadline is July 15. Click here to learn more.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities just released a new report, Eligible Low-Income Children Missing Out on Crucial WIC Benefits During Pandemic, and interactive data illustrations. Key findings include:
Together, state WIC, Medicaid, and SNAP leaders can use the more nuanced state data available to them to assess the extent to which WIC is reaching eligible families, take steps to enroll more of them, and measure progress over time.
Targeted text messaging offers a promising option for reaching more families eligible for WIC, as several recent pilot programs have shown it may help increase awareness about and enrollment in the program. Benefits Data Trust and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities recently published a guide to using targeted text messaging as an outreach tool, “Targeted Text Message Outreach Can Increase WIC Enrollment, Pilots Show,” which covers:
WIC agencies are creative and innovative. We can learn so much from one another! This WIC Field Notes tool was designed in consultation with NWA’s Evaluation Committee to collect examples of innovative projects and program changes from state and local WIC agencies and share lessons learned.
In the WIC Field Notes tool, you can share information about a project or program change by submitting a written overview, video, or audio file. We will reach out to you to collect any additional information before sharing on the WIC Hub. We hope to build a collection of examples from the field that inspire others and highlight innovative work happening in WIC across the country. We also recommend State Directors use this tool to highlight local agencies who have conducted innovative projects and implemented effective program changes.
NWA knows there is an appetite for learning from across our membership and that the more we share, the more we learn. Please reach out to Georgia Machell email@example.com if you have any questions.