Archive for the ‘Children & Families’ Category

WIC Services in Contra Costa County available by phone

Friday, March 27th, 2020

Benefits Auto-Issued for the Month of March

On Thursday evening, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide shelter-in-place order for all Californians, except certain essential employees and residents acquiring necessities, such as food, prescriptions, and health care.

WIC provides healthy foods and support services to families.  If your income has been affected by recent events, and you are pregnant, recently had a baby, or have an infant or child under the age of five, you may be qualified to receive WIC services.  Applying is easy and quick.  You will receive your food benefits within a few days. You can apply online at cchealth.org/wic or call 1 (800) 414-4WIC.

WIC food benefits are considered an essential service. We will strive to continue to serve our community during this time under the governor’s and local Health Officer’s order.  Currently, we are providing all WIC services over the phone, including new enrollments.  To protect you and our WIC staff, all in-person appointments are suspended at this time.  Please stay at home.  The new WIC Card and WIC app make it easy for you to access your benefits electronically.

Community members should call their local WIC offices to enroll or certify, obtain future food benefits, reschedule, get breastfeeding help, or to get questions answered.

  • Concord & Crossroad WIC: (925) 646-5370
  • Brentwood WIC: (925) 513-6880
  • Pittsburg WIC: (925) 431-2460
  • San Pablo WIC: (510) 942-4000

Please note that California WIC started monthly auto issuance of benefits and extended some certifications for those who were eligible.  This means if you have a WIC card, you may already have your benefits pre-loaded.  You can check your California WIC app for benefits.

If you have any additional questions, please contact your local WIC program at 1 (800) 414-4WIC.  For further Covid-19-related information, please visit the county website at:  cchealth.org or CDPH website.

WIC and Contra Costa Health Services are committed to providing the individuals and communities we serve with high quality, comprehensive, community-directed care that is accessible to all and culturally and linguistically appropriate.

Please note that WIC is safe to use and does not affect immigration status for anyone who is currently in the U.S.  WIC is not considered a part of public charge.  We are here to help!

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White Pony Express continues food deliveries to families who use school food pantries

Monday, March 16th, 2020

Despite school closures

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, almost all Contra Costa County schools are now closed for the protection of students. Despite this, White Pony Express (WPE), the food rescue nonprofit based in Pleasant Hill, will continue to deliver food to students and families being served by WPE’s “School Food Pantry Program.” Under this Program, WPE has been delivering fresh, surplus food to eleven free-lunch schools in the county. Since the schools are now closed, WPE will deliver the food to a nearby community center or church where families can still obtain it. Many of these families rely on this food to make ends meet.

Need for School Food Pantry Programs

Over 100,000 students in Contra Costa County, or 40%, qualify for the free lunch program. The goal of the School Pantry Program is to help eliminate hunger and increase students’ academic success so they can contribute more fully to the communities in which they live. Helen Jones, WPE’s Food Rescue Operations Manager says, “The families we serve through this program have

demanding challenges throughout the month. Many of the participants receive food stamps which only cover a portion of a month’s worth of food. The food that WPE provides to the schools we serve not only provides nutrition. It provides hope.”

Currently, WPE’s eleven school pantries are set up in schools located in Antioch, Bay Point, Martinez, Pittsburg, Richmond, and San Pablo. This year WPE’s school pantries will deliver in excess of 415,000 meals of quality, nutritious food. WPE plans to open new pantries in 2020, but

continuing the Program will depend on finding sustainable funding.

Institution of New Health Protocols

Based upon guidelines issued by the state and county, WPE will be incorporating new health guidelines to support state and local efforts to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. These protocols (hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, gloves, social distancing, etc.) will be made a part of all aspects of WPE’s food and clothing operations.

“It is important for the public and our volunteers to know that WPE will be implementing strict cleanliness standards so that our valuable programs can continue safely,” says Mary Brooks, WPE’s Executive Director. “And the families at the schools we are serving should know that WPE is preparing and delivering this surplus food in accordance with these high standards.”

ABOUT White Pony Express: WPE is a volunteer powered 501(c)3 organization headquartered in Pleasant Hill, CA, which helps people move from the margins to the mainstream by providing free food and clothing in a loving and respectful manner.

Dr. Carol Weyland Conner founded WPE in September 2013 when she was troubled that with such as an abundance of food, many thousands were going hungry, while at the same time food retailers were throwing out huge quantities of healthy, fresh food. Out of this insight, the Food Rescue program was born. In a little over 6 years, WPE has rescued and delivered more than 10.5 million pounds (equivalent to 8,750,000 meals) of fresh, nutritious food, free of charge, that would otherwise go to waste.

In 2014 the White Pony General Store was added to provide high quality clothing, toys, and books to the underserved in our communities – all free of charge. Since that time, the General Store has given away over 512,000 items to those in need.

If you’d like to contribute to WPE’s School Food Pantry Program or its other programs, you can do so by visiting WPE’s website at www.whiteponyexpress.org/donate-funds. Those who wish to volunteer can sign up at www.whiteponyexpress.org/volunteer.

For more on WPE, visit www.whiteponyexpress.org.

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Antioch schools, including Rocketship Delta Prep to close for the remainder of the month beginning Monday, March 16

Friday, March 13th, 2020

By Allen Payton

As of Friday, March 13, 2020, the schools in the Antioch Unified School District will close for the remainder of the month beginning Monday, March 16.

In a Facebook post Friday morning she wrote:

AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM SUPERINTENDENT ANELLO REGARDING COVID-19 AND SCHOOL CLOSURES (3/13/20 @ 10:20 am)

Good Morning,

After careful consideration, the Antioch Unified School District will close all schools beginning Monday March 16th. School will resume following Spring Break on March 30th. However, we ask that families have a contingency plan for the week of March 30th should it be necessary to keep schools closed. At this time, we do not know if the missed days will need to be made up at a later date, but will keep our families informed once we confirm that.

Schools will remain open today. However, parents/guardians who feel more comfortable not sending their child to school and/or picking up their child can do so and the absence will be excused.

During the March 16th through March 27th closure of schools, students who receive free and reduced lunch can get meals Monday through Friday at any of the following locations and at the following times (please note the meals will be ‘grab and go’):

Belshaw Elementary: 8:00-8:30 am, 12:00-12:30 pm

Fremont Elementary: 8:00-8:30 am, 12:00-12:30 pm

Lone Tree Elementary: 11:30-12:30 pm

Marsh Elementary: 8:00-8:30 am, 12:00-12:30 pm

Muir Elementary: 8:00-8:30 am, 12:00-12:30 pm

Park Middle School: 8:00-8:30 am, 12:15-1:00 pm

Turner Elementary: 11:30 am -12:30 pm

We will provide an update to all families no later than Saturday, March 28th. At this time, please contact your child’s school should you have further questions. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Anello

Both Anello and Board President Diane Gibson-Gray were informed by this reporter Friday morning, before the decision was made, that the former director of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb recommended not closing schools.

“…closing schools has its own impact on social lives and an impact on public health that could be adverse and could potentially even worsen the epidemic,” he was quoted as saying by Congressman Dan Crenshaw (TX-2) in a post on Twitter. “…So broad preemptive school closures, I personally wouldn’t recommend.”

“That’s probably why all schools have not closed,” responded Gibson-Gray at 10:07 a.m. “Stephanie is working closely with the CDE (California Department of Education) before we make any decisions.” However, a short time later, Gibson-Gray sent a text with the message, “See my update on Facebook,” which was a post of Anello’s announcement

When reached for comment, later Gibson-Gray wrote, Stephanie is the one whos been in contact with the CDC, so you should talk to her.

When asked who made the decision, you or the board and why,” Anello said, “I made the decision.

When asked why, in light of the information shared with her this morning from the former director of the FDA, and what are the parents or guardians of the students who work are supposed to do with the children, Anello responded, In light of the pace of the pandemic and as we continue to receive information regarding the spread of the virus, we do not want to risk having any children or staff members exposed to the health risks. We regret that this may have a negative impact on some of our families who may have child care issues, but we are doing what we believe is in the best interest of all students and staff at this time.

She also shared Board Policy 3516.5 Emergency Schedules which gives the superintendent the authority to close the schools: “In order to provide for the safety of students and staff, the Board of Education authorizes the Superintendent or designee to close a school site, change the regular school day schedule, or take any necessary action when hazardous environmental or weather conditions or other emergencies warrant.”

Following the decision by AUSD, leadership for Rocketship Delta Prep charter school in Antioch also decided to close their school, along with the rest of their schools nationwide, according to Marie Issa Gil, Rocketship Bay Area Regional Director. Rocketeer Families – In alignment with our local districts, school will be closed as of Monday, 3/16, was the announcement to parents, Friday morning.

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With donation of a bag of dog or cat food Kids Eat Free Christmas Eve at Samurai

Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

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Breakfast with Santa at Somersville Towne Center, Saturday, Dec. 14

Friday, December 6th, 2019

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Santa has a mailbox in Antioch!

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

Boys and girls are invited to write a personal letter to Santa this year. A special mailbox at the Antioch Community Center accepts letters for Santa directly! Parents and grandparents can bring letters to the Communtiy Center, 4703 Lone Tree Way until December 16, 2019. The Antioch Council of Teens helps Santa get his letters personally, and Santa will respond directly to each child.

All letters should include the child’s full name and the address where Santa can send his response. This year is the fourth year Santa has dropped off a mailbox in Antioch, which gives young children a unique holiday experience including happy smiles when they receive their very own letter in the mail.

For more information about this free community program call the Antioch Recreation Department, 925-776-3050.

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Have Breakfast with Santa this Saturday at Lone Tree Golf & Event Center

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

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34th Annual Harvest Carnival at Golden Hills Community Church in Brentwood Thursday evening

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

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