In the news: It’s 2019, Let’s Just Say Out Loud That Breastfeeding Is Hard, by Michelle Faust Raghavan

KPCC’s Health Care Reporter, Michelle Faust Raghavan featured the PHFE WIC program and stories from mothers about how breastfeeding can be challenging.

Read the full article on It’s 2019, Let’s Just Say Out Loud That Breastfeeding Is Hard

MOMS Orange County Names PHFE WIC as 2019 Champion for Babies & Families Awardee

Press Release by MOMS Orange County

Santa Ana, Calif. (January 16, 2019) – PHFE WIC, the largest nonprofit network of WIC centers in the U.S., was honored with MOMS Orange County’s Champion for Babies & Families award at their Santa Ana offices on January 15. MOMS Orange County, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving low-income pregnant women and young families for more than 26 years, launched the Champion for Babies & Families award in 2018 to honor and celebrate Orange County employers that create working environments which are exceptionally supportive of expectant employees and new families.

“We are honored to present PHFE WIC with our Champion for Babies & Families Award and commend their leadership and commitment to breastfeeding, infant nutrition and support to their employees who are new parents,” said MOMS Orange County CEO Pamela Pimentel, RN.

PHFE WIC, a program of Heluna Health, clearly leads the service sector in best practices in supporting its expecting employees and new parents. All eight WIC centers in Orange County are breastfeeding-friendly work centers with private pumping stations, electric pumps, refrigerators and flexible work time for pumping. Their employee Perinatal Support Program for pregnant and breastfeeding employees includes early pregnancy classes and prenatal support groups. When an employee has a baby, the family has access to a breastfeeding support coach and lactation consultant as employees are encouraged to pump during work hours for baby’s first year. In 2017, 100% of employees initiated breastfeeding and 92% maintained exclusive breastfeeding for their baby’s first year of life.

“As a leader in breastfeeding support services and nutrition education for families, we are thrilled to receive the ‘Champion for Babies & Families Award,’ said Kiran Saluja, MPH, RDN PHFE WIC Executive Director. “Breastfeeding education and support are a core WIC service; not only to the families we serve, but also to our employees who support the families we serve. PHFE WIC is committed to doing whatever it takes to help our staff succeed with healthy pregnancies and exclusive breastfeeding. When our staff is supported and successful, they, in turn, become passionate breastfeeding advocates for our participants. When we take care of our staff, they take care of our participants.”

Epsilon, a division of Alliance Data, was also honored with the 2019 Champion for Babies & Families award. The global marketing company’s Costa Mesa facility takes great measures to support new families and employees who are expecting.

Santa Ana-based MOMS Orange County plans to continue the tradition of honoring employers who go above and beyond to support pregnant employees and new parents. Nominations for the 2020 Champion for Babies and Families award will be accepted beginning in July 2019. For nomination information, please send inquiries to

About MOMS Orange County
MOMS Orange County formed 26 years ago in response to a crisis in access to prenatal healthcare for low-income, at-risk women. Today, MOMS Orange County serves more than 3,200 low-income families annually, directly influencing improvements in birth outcomes, maternal health, and developmental indicators among infants within a highly disadvantaged population.

To learn more about MOMS Orange County, visit

About PHFE WIC: WIC is the USDA-funded Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children. PHFE WIC—a program of Heluna Health is the largest local agency WIC Program in the nation, serving over 200,000 participants each month in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino Counties. Currently, over two-thirds of all infants born in LA County receive WIC services. Learn more at and

Get help finding food assistance

Click on the food locator links below for assistance with finding a food bank, food pantry, and other services that provide meals and groceries near you.

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Are you a federal worker who has been affected by the partial government shutdown?  Click here for a list of organizations who can help with food assistance.

Federal Government Shutdown and CalFresh Benefits

Early Issuance of February CalFresh Benefits

CalFresh is the name of California’s food assistance program which is funded through Federal SNAP funding.  Due to the federal government shutdown, most households that receive food assistance through the CalFresh Program received their February benefits early.

On the evening of January 14th, a special process was done to issue February CalFresh Benefits early to any family that had certified CalFresh eligibility for February.  Families that were included in the early issuance received their February CalFresh benefits on January 16th.

The best way for families to know if they received their February benefits early, is to check their EBT card balance for a January 15th issuance.  Families that receive an early issuance, need to be aware they have received their February CalFresh benefits and budget accordingly. They will not receive any additional CalFresh benefits in February.  If families have questions, they can contact their local DPSS office for additional information.

The CalFresh EBT System continues to operate, and local Department of Social Services offices will remain open.  For assistance and additional information, CalFresh customers should contact DPSS at (866) 613-3777

New CalFresh Applications will be accepted and processed as usual.  Apply today at

Related News
USDA Announces Plan to Protect SNAP
Participants’ Access to SNAP in February

WIC is OPEN during the shutdown

Here’s what you need to know during the partial government shutdown:

    • WIC REMAINS OPEN DURING THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN.  WIC state agencies have enough reserve funding to remain open until the end of March. Please be assured that WIC offices will maintain normal schedule, appointments will not be cancelled, and staff will be available to assist you.
    • WIC AUTHORIZED STORES WILL CONTINUE TO ACCEPT WIC CHECKS. WIC authorized stores must accept and redeem WIC checks while federal funding is available.
    • WE ENCOURAGE OUR WIC PARTICIPANTS TO CONTINUE TO SHOP WITH THEIR WIC CHECKS. WIC transactions at the grocery stores will be processed normally.


Read the full letter from the California Department of Public Health below.

Letter to WIC Directors
Letter to WIC Authorized Vendors

For questions, please call (888) 942-2229 or text us at 91997.

USDA Announces Plan to Protect SNAP Participants’ Access to SNAP in February

The USDA announced that full benefits will be available in February for SNAP, Child Nutrition Programs, and Supplemental Nutrition Programs like WIC.

Read the full press release at USDA Announces Plan to Protect SNAP Participants’ Access to SNAP in February