SNAP has accounted for nearly two-thirds of USDA spending on food and nutrition assistance in recent years. Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 marked record Federal spending on SNAP and the second year of increased spending and participation since 2019. This increase reflects the overall economic downturn and the temporary expansion of SNAP benefits because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to USDA, SNAP benefits expanded in two major ways:
Click here to learn more from USDA
Overall inflation rose another percent from May to June, hitting 9.1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marking a new 40-year high. Worse, inflation for food eaten at home – grocery – climbed to 12.2% year over year, compared to inflation for restaurants, which rose another 0.9% or 7.7% for the year.
Well, same-store sales for independent grocers were up every week in June compared to a year ago, according to data from FMS Solutions.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson visited Springfield’s Hiland Dairy plant to address dairy workers and present a proclamation celebrating dairy month.
He delivered the proclamation to Gary Aggus, president of Hiland Dairy.
“I think it means everything,” said Gov. Parson. “We know how important dairy is to the state of Missouri, and being a farmer, growing up on a dairy farm, it’s really neat to be at Hiland today, really acknowledging them, the dairy farmers for this month. It’s good. It’s fun.”
Chris Chinn, director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture, was also in attendance, making a point to highlight the work many of the plant employees did during the height of the pandemic.
Read more here.
Please find an update to additional formula’s being added to the Missouri APL. We have updated the WIC website with the below information.Attached is a copy of the new alternative formula chartthat retailers can post and have on hand at the checkout lanes. For questions contact Brandi Turnbough, WIC Retailer Manager at 573-751-8322
Additional Formulas Being Added to the APL on June 13, 2022:
Eleven (11) more formula alternative options will be available for WIC participants to purchase using their benefits starting June 13. The new alternatives are in small, medium, and large containers.
As a reminder:
* Small containers remove one (1) container from benefits.
* Medium containers remove 1.5 containers from benefits.
* Large containers remove 2 containers from benefits.
Similac Sensitive, Similac Total Comfort, Similac for Spit Up, and Similac Soy Isomil now have additional options.
The Temporary Formula Alternatives 6-13 show the changes going into effect on June 13. Please consider providing a copy of the chart to cashiers at checkout lanes and customer service desks. Remember to discard all previous charts as they will not be accurate on June 13.
* Please ensure you have the latest APL in use by all stores by June 13, 2022. The changes are noted on the updated Missouri WIC Abbott Recall Alternatives 6-13 spreadsheet.
* Please ensure point of sale systems are updated appropriately to allow formula alternatives during WIC transactions once the updated APL is applied.
* Please ensure your APL is updated daily so that any new or removed UPCs are included. For those retailers with a MobiWIC stand-beside device, if assistance is needed, please contact SoliSYSTEMS technical support at (214) 256-3083.
Alternative formulas and substitutions will continue to be offered until Abbott can replenish its formula stock at retailers to levels sufficient to meet the needs of WIC participants. This is anticipated to be through August 31, 2022 at this time. Please consider ordering additional stock of these formula brands and types to increase the supply available to WIC participants
Mike Beal, chief operating officer of Kansas City, Kan.-based Balls Food Stores, testified today in support of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, on behalf of the National Grocers Association (NGA), the trade association representing the independent supermarket industry.
Beal affirmed the importance of SNAP to the independent grocery sector in his testimony to U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-CT), who chairs the Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations Subcommittee; ranking member U.S. Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE); and other committee members. In 2020, SNAP was responsible for nearly 200,000 U.S. grocery industry jobs earning wages totaling more than $6.7 billion.
Describing SNAP as “a shining example of a public-private partnership,” Beal testified that the program is critical to the health of local communities.
Families and businesses throughout Kansas City have faced some unprecedented challenges over the past few years. While there are certainly still issues on the horizon, it’s beginning to feel like we’re on the path to recovery from the pandemic. More than ever, we need elected officials to adopt policies that will support this recovery and unlock the Kansas City community’s potential.
But certain elements of the city’s recently proposed Climate Protection & Resiliency Plan may hinder economic opportunity in Kansas City. The plan aims to make Kansas City more sustainable and help the city combat the impacts of climate change. Many features of the plan will make the community more environmentally friendly and modernize aspects of the region. However, the proposed shift to electricity as the main energy source is concerning, as it will negatively impact those in Kansas City who depend on natural gas for affordable, reliable and clean energy and that includes your local neighborhood grocery store.
Local grocery stores have been a reliable community resource for generations, working hard to keep Kansas City families fed throughout natural disasters, taking extra measures to protect consumers during the pandemic, and being a steady presence throughout other crises.
The Missouri Grocers Association is a statewide nonprofit proudly representing more than 1,300 independent retailers, wholesalers, distributors, brokers, suppliers, vendors and manufacturers that make grocery stores possible. Our membership includes businesses of all sizes and from diverse industries, which require a variety of resources to meet their needs.
Natural gas is a critical resource for many of our members, used to cook meals in their kitchens, heat stores during the winter and operate machinery at plants. Business owners know what works best to effectively manage their operations. That’s why they often choose natural gas—because electricity is more expensive for heating, and gas is more reliable with much less frequent outages.
Moreover, a move to electrification would require replacing natural gas-powered appliances and machinery for many of our members, a costly expenditure that not every business will be able to make. Even if they can afford electric appliances, they’re then faced with potentially higher bills and less reliable service. This proposal simply won’t be manageable for so many small businesses in our community. And that’s why we believe that both electricity and natural gas should be available energy sources going forward.
Grocers and their suppliers play an important role in feeding communities, and they need access to the right resources needed to continue doing their job. While debating the proposed Climate Protection & Resiliency Plan, we hope that local officials will amend the plan to consider the benefits of a balanced energy policy—one that supports the ability of Kansas City’s residents and businesses to continue using efficient, affordable natural gas as part of a sustainable future.
Abbott has announced that Similac Advance has returned to a healthy supply in WIC sizes. For Similac Advance 12.4 oz powder, retailers should:
· Place more orders or larger orders for this SKU, and
· Inform the Missouri WIC retailer team at MOWICVendorGroup@health.mo.gov or 573-751-6204 so we can reach out to Abbott for assistance if you find insufficient availability of Similac Advance.
Alternatives for all Similac formula are extended through August 31, 2022.
Please direct WIC retailer questions to MOWICVendorGroup@health.mo.gov. You can also contact Brandi Turnbough, WIC Retailer Manager, at 573-751-6196.
The month of May is Safe Jobs for Youth Month. Missouri communities benefit greatly by having teens in the workforce. Employment teaches young people important skills, including responsibility, timeliness, honesty, teamwork, resourcefulness, communication skills and confidence.
The Missouri Division of Labor Standards works with employers, parents and school officials to help keep young workers safe and healthy while learning these valuable life lessons. Fast food, grocery stores, general retail, and lawn care are the most popular jobs for teenagers. Missouri law restricts the age, number of hours, and occupations youth can work during the school year and in the summer.
Certificates for Employment
Certificate to Employ a Child 14 or 15 Years of Age - During School Term
Beginning May 1, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is ending its temporary Form I-9 policy that allows employers to accept List B documents that expired on or after March 1, 2020.
DHS adopted the temporary policy in response to the difficulty of renewing documents during COVID. Since then, document-issuing authorities have reopened or provided alternatives to in-person renewals. Starting May 1, 2022, employers must return to only accepting unexpired List B documents.
If an employee presented an expired List B document between May 1, 2020, and April 30, 2022, you need to update their Form I-9 by July 31, 2022, as follows:
· If the employee is still employed, they must present an unexpired document from either List A or List B. If presenting a List B document, it could be a renewed version of the document previously provided, or a different List B document. You should enter the document title, issuing authority, document number, and expiration date in the “Additional Information” field of Section 2, and initial and date the change. USCIS provides an example of how to do this here.
· If the employee is no longer employed, no action is needed.
· If the List B document was auto-extended by the issuing authority so that it was technically unexpired when it was presented, no action is needed.
Remote Form I-9 Document Inspection Flexibility Scheduled to End April 30
In March 2020, DHS began providing flexibility to certain employers who were hiring fully remote workers due to COVID by suspending the in-person Form I-9 document inspection requirement.
This flexibility has been extended several times, most recently through April 30, 2022. While DHS could still announce another extension, given the end of the expired document flexibility described above, we anticipate that this in-person inspection flexibility may also come to an official end.
Prepare to resume in-person Form I-9 document examination. You can keep an eye on this page for additional Form I-9 news and can revisit Form I-9 Instructions here.
The following information is provided by Conn Maciel Carey LLP.
OSHA has been quite busy the last few months on the rulemaking front, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Last week, on March 30th, OSHA published a new proposed rule to amend and dramatically expand the requirements of its Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses Rule (i.e., the E-Recordkeeping Rule).
OSHA's E-Recordkeeping Rule has had a long and tortured history. In 2016, President Obama’s OSHA enacted the E-Recordkeeping Rule, requiring hundreds of thousands of workplaces to proactively submit injury and illness data to OSHA. Then, in 2019, the Trump Administration rolled back some of the more onerous requirements in an amended E-Recordkeeping Rule that removed the requirement for very large establishments to electronically submit detailed injury information from OSHA Forms 300 and 301. Fast forward to 2022 and the return of a Democratic Administration, and we are seeing Biden’s OSHA push to undo the Trump Administration’s rollbacks. However, the new administration does not seem content to just rollback what Trump’s OSHA changed, but is set on over-compensating – sweeping in thousands more workplaces and collecting more detailed and invasive injury data.
Read our full article here for more information about the history of E-Recordkeeping, the new proposed amendments to the E-Recordkeeping Rule, the implications of the proposed changes, and Conn Maciel Carey’s plans to coordinate with employers and trade groups to advocate for reasonable E-Recordkeeping requirements.
The Missouri Grocers Association | 315 N Ken Ave, Springfield, MO 65802 | Phone: 417-831-6667 | Fax: 417-831-3907