As we reflect on 2019, we are filled with gratitude for our dedicated staff, our generous partners, and for the families who trust us to serve them. We thank you for your support and look forward to reaching new milestones in 2020.
The new WIC Card launched in 30 of our PHFE WIC centers in late 2019. Thousands of PHFE WIC participants have switched from using paper WIC vouchers to shopping with their convenient new WIC cards. The California WIC Card is easy to use and has completely transformed our participants’ experience in the WIC office and in grocery stores for the better. Paper WIC vouchers will be completely gone by mid-2020!
200,000 women, children, and their families were provided with healthy food, nutrition education, and breastfeeding support; and connected to other community resources by the dedicated staff at PHFE WIC.
Over 2 million diapers, wipes, and other hygiene products were provided to families with young children at WIC offices, thanks to partnerships with Baby 2 Baby, LA Regional Food Bank, and First 5 LA.
We invested in staff training. Our greatest asset is our frontline staff who serve families each day at WIC. All PHFE WIC staff received implicit bias training to bring awareness to racial disparities in maternal and infant mortality rates and address how we can improve health equity for the people we serve. Staff also received training on customer service, stress management, and domestic violence prevention.
CinnaMoms saw its largest turnout yet at the CinnaMoms Summit on July 25, 2019, where a panel of maternal health experts equipped families with information and resources addressing the alarming maternal and infant mortality rates for African American mothers and babies in our community. CinnaMoms started in 2015 as an African American breastfeeding support group at WIC, and has expanded its scope to advocate for parenting and health for the entire life course.
Little By Little gave out its one millionth book this year. The early literacy program gives books to families in several WIC offices, and we are honored to have been a part of this milestone.
We continued to fight food insecurity with the WIC + CalFresh Better Together campaign, partnered with other food justice organizations and received the 2019 Outreach Leader of the Year “Freshy” Award.
We connected WIC families to fresh produce while combating food waste through partnerships with the Clementine Food Trolley and Food Forward LA.
We celebrated fathers in a special Father’s Day event on June 14, 2019. Families enjoyed crafts, games, and an award ceremony with local government officials at El Monte Valley WIC to honor dads and remind the community that men, dads, and caretakers are welcome at WIC.
We invited the community to a WIC Open House celebrating the unveiling of the newly renamed Barack Obama WIC center in Los Angeles. Families enjoyed food, family portraits, yoga, and an award ceremony honoring breastfeeding mothers and breastfeeding support staff at WIC.
Our hugely successful Farmers Market Nutrition Program attracted thousands of families to their local farmers’ market this summer. Between May and August, PHFE WIC staff gave out $570,000 worth of fruit and vegetable vouchers to 28,500 WIC participants ($20 per family) at fourteen farmers’ markets in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
The 23rd dietetic internship class graduated this year, prepared to pass the exam to earn the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) credential and serve the community as WIC supervisors and nutrition experts.
We grew our breastfeeding program by adding an internship opportunity for aspiring lactation consultants. This internship will help current PHFE WIC employees earn an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) credential, in turn giving WIC participants greater access to high quality breastfeeding services.
We wish you a happy healthy new year and look forward to advancing health equity in 2020!