The Missouri Department of Social Services announced the dates emergency allotments (supplements) for SNAP would be released. The dates are as follows:
March 2020 SNAP supplements will be automatically loaded to recipients' cards March 30 through April 3
April 2020 SNAP supplements will be automatically loaded to recipients' cards on the normal schedule April 1 - 22.
"The allotment allows up to the maximum monthly amount based on a SNAP customer's household size. Only SNAP households who do not currently receive the maximum benefit amount for their household size will receive this supplement. Supplements will be delivered on the household's existing EBT card. The supplements are currently approved for the months of March and April 2020. No application or request for this supplement is required and SNAP customers do not need to contact MODSS or their caseworkers.
Click here for more information.
"If a store chooses to stock high demand WIC approved items at the Customer Service Desk or in the back storage area. For example, posting a notice that customers who are needing formula would ask for assistance at the Customer Service Desk.
I have seen this already in place at some stores before COVID-19 and is allowed as this would be something that all customers would do not just WIC customers.
If a store is wanting to put a supply of WIC approved food items aside somewhere at the store other than on the store shelf, please post a notice that customers can ask store personnel for assistance"
- Bridgett Henderson
WIC Retailer Manager
"The Missouri WIC program COVID-19 #2 update notice includes information about milk, eggs, bread, and infant fruit and vegetables. View that notice HERE
Also attached is a notice that can be printed and posted in the milk area of the store to assist WIC customers while they are selecting their WIC-approved milk listed on their WIC check or on their eWIC card. View that notice HERE
Due to the additional food substitutions and brands that we are temporarily approving due to COVID-19 the Not to Exceed (NTE) limits for WIC checks and eWIC card transactions will be adjusted.
WIC retailers MUST allow WIC customers to purchase the full quantity of WIC-approved food items and formula if it is available for purchase at the time of the WIC transaction. We have been receiving several complaints about authorized WIC retailers not allowing WIC customers to purchase the full quantity issued on WIC checks or allowing families to redeem more than one WIC check at a time due to purchasing limits placed on items that are also WIC-approved.
We have also received complaints that store personnel are not providing WIC customers a Partial WIC Formula Redemption form when the store or pharmacy does not have the full quantity issued on a WIC check in stock at the time of the transaction. Attached is the form to this notice for sharing with store personnel as a reminder that they are to offer the form to the family if the full quantity is not available and the family needs to purchase what is available." View that notice HERE
"If you have any food items that you want us to consider that are not listed on the attached notice, please email the information to WICFoods@health.mo.gov.
Please contact Bridgett, if you have any questions or concerns"
WIC Retailer Manager
As you are well aware, as of yesterday, Sunday, March 29, President Donald Trump announced the extension of the social distancing guidelines to April 30. Up to this point in time, we have seen many changes in state and local ordinances affecting the way we operate our day to day business.
While we are still learning more about some of the major policy changes, we will continue to keep you updated on any new information. With the President’s extension through April 30, we anticipate we are currently living a new normal and now is the time to adapt to these changes for the foreseeable future.
Our ask to you is to please let us know how the Missouri Grocers Association can continue to be of assistance through this new normal. Keep us updated on any changes you are making in your stores to adapt to this new normal for employees and consumers alike. If you have any questions or thoughts, please do not hesitate to contact me or the MGA team.
Missouri Grocers Association
Expanded coronavirus leave benefits begin next week.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act takes effect on April 1. Is your business ready?
The new federal law makes important changes to leave policies. These changes are aimed at helping workers who are sick or need to stay home for childcare reasons during the coronavirus threat.
The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees. *Most employees of the federal government are covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which was not amended by this Act, and are therefore not covered by the expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA. However, federal employees covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act are covered by the paid sick leave provision.
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.
Business leaders need to quickly become familiar with the provisions of the law, as it could grant up to 12 additional weeks of paid leave to impacted employees. This includes many employers that are typically exempt from FMLA. The good news for employers is that the law requires the federal government to pay businesses for salary expenses incurred while employees are on paid leave.
Learn more using these resources from the Federal Department of Labor.
We understand that these are very difficult times and the constant changes in regulations can be complicated to understand. If you have any questions regarding this information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
*Certain provisions may not apply to certain employers with fewer than 50 employees. See Department FFCRA regulations (expected April 2020).
A Message from MGA's State Director:
"MGA is working closely with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt to ensure the protection of our retailers against any frivolous claims. To view the Attorney General's press release regarding price gouging click HERE
Also as of this morning MODOT has made changes to the Emergency Response blankets for the weight increase on transportation carrying items to stores. Moving forward you no longer need to have a permit issued for each truck. Companies simply need to print our the declaration signed by MODOT Director Patrick McKenna, and place a copy in each vehicle. If you have completed the permit process, then you do not need to include the declaration in that vehicle.
Click HERE to view and print the declaration.
Please keep us updated on your stores and communities and do not hesitate to let us know how we can be of further assistance."
In March 24th's press briefing, Governor Parson assured Missourian's that the state's food supply remains strong and emphasized the important role of the food and agriculture industry in Missouri's COVID-19 response efforts.
"Missouri's food supply is as strong as the men and women who drive our trucks and tractors," Governor Parson said. "Farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses are critical pieces of our society at all times, especially right now. I want every worker and employer involved in the food industry to know that your work has never been more important."
Agriculture plays a vital role in taking care of citizens' most basic needs during a public health emergency, and the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) has been working closely with its partners to maintain the state's strong food supply chain.
To read the Governor's entire press briefing click HERE
We have received a form letter regrading Critical Employee travel authorization. This letter can be customized for your store and will allow your employees to travel to and from work while a Stay At Home order is in place. They just need to print it out and keep it in their vehicle.
Critical Industry Employee Authorization to Travel
If you would like to receive a Word version of this letter, so you can customize it, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to order a Plexiglass sneeze guard kit to provide more COVID-19 protection in your store? Order details provided by AWG.
Click Here to Print
**Update from State Director Dan Shaul**
Governor Parson, following moves by other states and Missouri cities, has mandated bars and restaurants to stop serving customers in-house, allowing only drive-thru, carry-out or delivery. This new order took effect yesterday, Monday, March 23rd and as of now will remain in effect until April 6th.
In addition to the changes in the restaurant’s operations, Governor Parson signed an executive order yesterday allowing for the sale of unprepared foods by restaurants. We have been in contact with the Governor’s office regarding this executive order and have determined that under this order, grocery stores are allowed to sell food intended for the restaurant industry. You can see the Governor’s executive order HERE.
Please keep us updated on your stores and communities and do not hesitate to let us know how we can be of further assistance.
Missouri Grocers Association
The Missouri Grocers Association | 315 N Ken Ave, Springfield, MO 65802 | Phone: 417-831-6667 | Fax: 417-831-3907