WIC Celebrates Men and Dads media event at the El Monte Valley WIC center

In honor of Father’s Day and the increasing number of men and dads participating in the WIC program, the El Monte Valley WIC center hosted a special event on June 14, 2019, to celebrate the important role men and dads have in the well-being of their families.

Congresswoman, Grace Napolitano and Supervisor, Grace Huang

The El Monte Valley WIC center hosted the honorable Congresswomen Grace Napolitano, Mayor Pro Tem for the city of El Monte, Jerry Velasco and Sarah Rizvi, staff member for Assemblywomen Blanca Rubio, who all spoke about the importance of men and dads and the WIC program’s nutrition education and support in our community.

(left to right) Kiran Saluja, Jerry Velasco, Juan Luis Banuelos, Wife and Daughter, Grace Napolitano, Cathi Eredia, Ruben Lopez

Congresswomen Grace Napolitano, Sarah Rizvi, from Assembly women Blanca Rubio’s office and Mayor Pro Tem for the city of El Monte, Jerry Velasco, all presented certificates that acknowledged three fathers for their commitment to their families and participation with the WIC program:

  • Juan Luis Banuelos
    Juan is a big part of his wife’s breastfeeding journey. He is supportive and has encouraged her to totally breastfeed their infant. He helps her around the house and attends her WIC appointments with her. When their baby was born, he would bring her to the breastfeeding clinic for the 1st month just to make sure the baby was gaining weight and breastfeeding well. The baby is now 13 months old mom is still totally breastfeeding and dad is still a big part of her journey.
  • Ahsan Chohan
    Ahsan is very helpful during his WIC visits with his wife. He helps mom with the care of the baby, filling out forms and helping check the baby’s weight gain. He is also very supportive of mom and her efforts to breastfeed their baby.
(left to right) Cathi Eredia, Kiran Saluja, Wife and Baby, Grace Napolitano, Ahsan Chohan, Jerry Velasco
  • Hoa Ngo, (Tom)
    Tom has been a Nutritionist at the El Monte Valley WIC center since 5/2/2005.  He has an eight-year-old son who is the highlight of his life. He likes to spend time with his son playing basketball, hiking, throwing a football around and taking a walk in the park or his neighborhood.  According to Tom, the best part of being a dad, is teaching him something new and having him ask numerous questions.
Nutritionist, Hoa Ngo (Tom) and Assemblywoman, Sarah M. Rizvi

The celebration included healthy snacks and drinks provided by WIC, face painting, arts and crafts, and book reading by a Norwood Library, Librarian. Alta Med Dental, Norwood Library, El Monte Library, Spiritt Family Centers, Read Conmigo, and the Foothill Family, joined the celebration and provided their services.

One guest speaker gave a testimonial about the WIC program and about the important role of men and fathers in children’s lives. Mr. Phu Ly, a Vietnamese migrant with Chinese descent, has been working as a WIC Nutrition Assistant at the Rosemead WIC office for the past 20 years. While working at WIC, Mr. Ly earned his Bachelor of Science and master’s degree in mathematics at the California State University, Los Angeles.

WIC is here to provide services to ensure our community’s children get a strong and healthy start in life. PHFE WIC is committed to fostering an inclusive and friendly environment for men, fathers, and all other caretakers, parents, and guardians. Research shows children and families do better when fathers and father-like figures are involved. Children exhibit better school performance, increase in self-esteem and improves social relationships. The WIC program offers father-friendly materials such as nutrition education classes, nutrition counseling, parenting classes and referrals to additional resources to support the entire the family.