Representatives from coalitions throughout the state met on Friday, March 1 for the California Breastfeeding Coalition’s Quarterly Coalitions meeting.
These meetings provide a space for us to strengthen communication and connections among local county coalitions. Expanding on our shared vision of protecting and promoting breast/chestfeeding across the state allows us to collectively build capacity around issues impacting lactation support in our communities by addressing needs, sharing resources, networking, uplifting and highlighting successes.
This quarter’s meeting focused on three items:
- AB 228: Infant Formula Stockpile
- The California Department of Public Health’s In-Hospital Breastfeeding Data (covered in last week’s newsletter)
- A summary of the 2023 California Breastfeeding Summit
AB 228, introduced by District 11 Assemblymember Lori D. Wilson of Suisun City, proposes to create a stockpile of infant formula managed by the state. Though we understand the intent behind the bill, we believe it to be short-sighted.
Yes, the effects of Abbott’s manufacturing facility being shut down and widespread recall of its products due to safety concerns were devastating to formula-feeding families. Every family has the right to access safe, nutritional food for infants and children.
And that’s the issue, isn’t it?
An infant formula stockpile doesn’t address food safety and security for all families, which is why we’re proposing amendments to the proposed legislation.
We’d like to see AB 22 expand its focus to Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E). A broader framework for the bill is an opportunity to address all public health emergencies (e.g., natural disasters, climate-related disasters, pandemics, and supply chain disruptions, etc.) that affect infant feeding practices and access to infant foods.
Last week, we sent a letter requesting this expansion to Assemblymember Wilson after meeting with her staff. To support our efforts on this issue, please join our Lactation Action Network (LAN). Though we’ll keep all newsletter readers apprised of updates as they arise, only LAN members receive advocacy notices.
Discussion around the 2023 California Breastfeeding Summit centered around desired topics for future events, and the accessibility of virtual events vs. in-person events for attendees. We will be sending out requests for speaker and poster proposals in late spring / early summer. If there are topics you’d like to see covered, or speakers you’d like to suggest, please email the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’d love to see you at an upcoming Quarterly Coalitions Meeting. We will meet from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on June 2, Sept. 1 and Dec. 1. Click here to register for the meetings.