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COVID-19 Impact

  • April 09, 2020 12:26 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    In order to decrease the touching of POS terminals, the global card networks are planning to increase their tap-to-pay and other contactless payment limits from $100 to $250. Purchases under the $250 will not require the use of a PIN code or provide a signature. Mastercard announced its plans on last week. Visa, which has yet to officially announce when the new limits will be in effect, has signaled that it will increase purchase limits that do not require PIN or signature.

  • April 09, 2020 12:22 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    "The Missouri WIC program is reviewing the impact that the COVID-19 event will have on the eWIC implementation dates of the rollout areas that were to begin on June 1, 2020 and end on July 27, 2020.  The current rollout map is available on the Missouri WIC program website here and (below)

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    If there are any changes to the posted information, the Missouri WIC program will provide an update as soon as possible."


    - Bridgett Henderson
     WIC Retailer Manager

  • April 09, 2020 12:19 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    The Missouri Department of Labor has released an Employee Notice poster outlining the States' guidelines on unemployment insurance benefits. To view the poster, click here.

  • April 08, 2020 1:36 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    The Missouri Department of Labor has released their guidance in regards to unemployment insurance benefits eligibility for employees. Employees must meet the following requirements in order to qualify for unemployment:

    • If workers quit a job without good cause, they are not eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. Quitting a job due to fear of exposure to COVID-19, absent advice from your health care provider, is not considered good cause for quitting under the law.
    • Quitting a job without good cause to obtain unemployment benefits may be considered fraud. Benefits obtained through fraud must be repaid. The individual is not eligible for future payment and may be subject to prosecution.
    • Unemployment benefits are for those who are laid off through no fault of their own.
    • If a workplace is operating during COVID-19, workers should provide a doctor’s note when filing for unemployment. The note should explain what work the employee can perform.
    • If a worker is put in a temporary layoff status or furlough, then declines their employer’s request to come back to work, the worker is not eligible for unemployment benefits.

    The Department of Labor has put together an Employee Notice poster containing this information that you can print and place in an employee break room or wherever it may be visible to employees. You can view the poster by clicking HERE!

    If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the MGA team or you can. reach out to me directly.

    Sincerely,

    Dan Shaul
    State Director

  • April 07, 2020 6:36 AM | Greene (Administrator)

    Requests Grocery Retailers Remove Customer Limits on Milk

    To Missouri’s Grocery Retailers:

    We all have an important role in keeping Missouri’s food supply strong. From farm to fork, the agriculture industry has risen to the challenge of historic food demand created by COVID-19. As a grocery retailer, you and your team members are on the front lines restocking shelves quickly. Milk is a common staple for many Missouri families and our industry is prepared to ensure every Missourian has the milk their families need. Generation after generation, our dairy farmers have worked to produce wholesome, nutritious milk and dairy products for our families. We ask that you support our Missouri dairy farmers by removing the customer limits on milk in your stores.

    Two of the most critical markets for fluid milk and dairy products were immediately impacted as COVID-19 spread to Missouri. Schools across the state were closed within weeks of our first positive case, and restaurants dramatically decreased their dine-in services. This was all done in an effort to practice social distancing and protect our communities. At the same time, grocery store demand rose sharply. In an effort to protect customers, some grocery retailers limited the amount of milk each consumer could purchase.

    The Missouri dairy industry contributes $2 billion to the state’s gross domestic product, supporting family farmers and more than 23,000 jobs. It is important we all do our part to ensure our Missouri dairymen and dairywomen thrive. Milk processors and distributors have successfully diverted the milk supply from schools and restaurants to grocery stores. The milk processors in Missouri are delivering 100% of the orders being placed right now and they are ready to fill even more.

    The Missouri Department of Agriculture and the State Milk Board respectfully request your support of Missouri’s dairy industry by allowing customers to purchase more of this nutritious product for their families. Thank you for your dedication to the strength of Missouri’s food supply.

     

    Sincerely,


  • April 06, 2020 8:06 AM | Greene (Administrator)

    As you are well aware, to further combat the spread of COVID-19 in Missouri, Governor Parson directed Dr. Randall Williams, Director of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, to issue a Stay at Home Order which is effective April 6, 2020.

    The MGA team has been working in constant contact with Governor Parson and his team to provide clarification to the executive order as it affects the grocery industry. Below please see some clarification to the occupancy portion.

    PLEASE NOTE: Staff and Vendors (vendors include Shipt and Instacart shoppers) DO NOT count toward the total number of persons in a store, only customers.

    My local jurisdiction does not have a building or fire code. Do the limitations on square footage apply to my retail business?

    Yes. If your business is not subject to fire or building code occupancy limitations set by your local jurisdiction, you should calculate your occupancy limits based on the following formula:

    For a business with a retail location less than 10,000 square feet:

    A. Building Square Feet divided by 30 = Quotient

    B. Quotient x .25 = Occupancy Limit

    For a business with the retail location of 10,000 square feet or more:

    A. Building Square Feet divided by 30 = Quotient

    B. Quotient x .10 = Occupancy Limit

    Examples:

    A 40,000 square foot grocery store would be able to have 133 customers in the store at any one time.

    An 8,000 square foot retail store would be able to have 66 customers in the store at any one time.

    My local fire or building code occupancy limitation calculation is lower than that allowed for businesses without any fire or building code limits, or is lower than a neighboring jurisdictions fire or building code limitations. Can I apply the same formula for calculating occupancy for my business as those without a code?

    Yes. You may use either the calculation set forth above for businesses without a fire or building code occupancy limitation, or the calculation applied to your business based upon your specific local jurisdiction fire and building code occupancy limitation, whichever is greater.

    Example:

    My 30,000 square foot retail business has a local jurisdiction fire or building occupancy limitation of 700 people. Using the formula allowing only 10% of the local jurisdiction, I would be able to have 70 customers in my store at any one time. For an identical business without a local fire or occupancy limitation, they would be able to have 100 customers in their store at any one time. Under this guidance, you may have up to 100 customers in your store at any one time.

    My 6,000 square foot retail business has a local jurisdiction fire or building occupancy limitation of 150 people. Using the formula allowing only 25% of the local jurisdiction, I would be able to have 37 customers in my store at any one time. For an identical business without a local fire or occupancy limitation, they would be able to have 50 customers in their store at any one time. Under this guidance, you may have up to 50 customers in your store at any one time.

    Are grocery stores considered a business “engaged in retail sales to the public”?

    Yes, and such store is subject to the occupancy limitations in the Order.

    Grocery stores are strongly encouraged to set aside hours, outside of regular store hours, to allow third-party grocery delivery services to provide grocery shopping services for their customers. This will allow individual shoppers to shop during regular store hours, and reduce congestion during such times. This will further allow such services to function in an environment where their services may be in excessive demand.

    Shoppers at all retail stores are also encouraged, when possible, to limit the number of people shopping in stores to 1 person per household at any one time. This will better enable all families to access necessary goods in grocery stores, and further reduce the number of individuals necessary to access such goods.

    If you have any additional questions regarding the Stay at Home Order, please do not hesitate to contact the MGA team or State Director Dan Shaul directly at dshaul@missourigrocers.com or (314)378-4363.

    You can view the entire Stay at Home Order FAQ by clicking HERE!

  • April 06, 2020 7:58 AM | Greene (Administrator)

    Friday, April 3

    This evening, Governor Parson issued a Statewide stay at home order, which included density control at essential retail businesses:

    • Any entity that employs individuals to perform essential worker functions, and that is engaged in retail sales to the public, shall limit the number of individuals in any particular retail location as follows:
    • Twenty-five (25) percent or less of the entity’s authorized fire or building code occupancy, as set by local authorities, for a retail location with square footage of less than ten thousand square feet (10,000 ft²);
    • Ten (10) percent or less of the entity’s authorized fire or building code occupancy, as set by local authorities, for a retail location with square footage of ten thousand square feet (10,000 ft²) or more.

    The Missouri Grocers Association will continue to communicate with Governor Parson, the Governor's executive team and the Missouri Department of Health that the operations of the grocery industry are vital to all Missourians. By working together, we can ensure that this executive order and further actions by the State of Missouri have minimal negative impact on the grocery industry, and more importantly, allow consumers to acquire food in an orderly, stress free manner. We will continue to keep you updated on any additional changes.

    Sincerely,

    Dan Shaul
    State Director
    Missouri Grocers Association

  • April 02, 2020 2:36 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    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.

  • April 02, 2020 1:57 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    "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


  • April 02, 2020 1:52 PM | Greene (Administrator)

    "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"

    -Bridgett Henderson
    WIC Retailer Manager
    573-751-6204


The Missouri Grocers Association315 N Ken Ave, Springfield, MO 65802 | Phone: 417-831-6667 | Fax: 417-831-3907

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