For Immediate Release: March 30, 2016
CONTACT: James Miller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Monthly distribution dates for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program increase from 15 to 28 days starting April 1; FRF’s success in supporting this legislation will lead to expanded food selection for consumers, and better inventory control for retailers

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, and its Florida Grocers Association (FGA) division, remind retailers and SNAP recipients that the monthly distribution dates for the program increase from 15 days to 28 days effective April 1. FRF & FGA were very involved in pushing for this legislation, which took place during the 2015 Legislative Session but takes effect this year, and will significantly benefit both customers and retailers by allowing for better selection, inventory control and customer service. SNAP is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program with 3.6 million Florida recipients representing close to $5.5 billion in economic impact to the state’s economy.

“This extension of SNAP benefits means recipients will have more access to healthy food and fewer of those important items out of stock by allowing retailers to better spread out their inventory over the 28 days, as opposed to the previous rush that would occur when the schedule was just 15 days,” said FRF President/CEO Randy Miller. “We want to thank Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Hudson for his hard work in recognizing the negative impact this issue had on both consumers and business owners by creating this important legislation and making a positive impact on our communities. We also want to recognize the Department of Children and Families for the seamless implementation of these distribution dates throughout the state.”

Enhanced SNAP distribution increases the number of days SNAP benefits are distributed throughout the state from the current 15 days to 28 days, effective April 1. This will lead to:

  • Better selection – For many SNAP recipients, transportation to the grocery store can be a challenge, and having items out of stock requires they return for another shopping trip.
  • Better customer service – By spreading SNAP distribution, grocery stores are able provide better customer service by not having as many customers concentrated in a shorter time frame, thereby providing more help and attention to SNAP Customers.
  • Better inventory control – Retailers will be able to reduce out of stock items and reduce some of the pressure of having enough products for the SNAP Customer.
  • More consistent workforce – Previously, retailers had difficulty scheduling properly due to so much concentration of business in the first half of the month.

FRF looks forward to the positive impact this legislation will have on residents and business owners going forward.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year. For more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Facebook and Twitter.

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Published in Media Relations
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 16:18

The Checkout 2-3-2016

FRF Grocery Update | February 3, 2016

We Need Your Help to Inform Your Customers of Expanded SNAP Benefits

FRF/The Florida Grocers Association was successful in working with The Department of Children and Families to expand SNAP Benefits from 15 days to 28 days distribution, starting in March. The SNAP recipients are being notified by DCF – but now WE NEED YOUR HELP TO INFORM YOUR CUSTOMERS. This expansion of Food Assistance (SNAP) will benefit everyone – better service and inventory levels for your customers and grocers will be able to balance their labor force. Linked below is sample language both in English and Spanish to be posted on Bulletin Boards, at checkout lanes, bag stuffers, etc. PLEASE REPRODUCE THE LINKED MESSAGES AND USE THEM TO AID IN THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS.

HERE ARE THE LINKS: Click here for English and Click here for Spanish.

For frequently asked questions please click.

The Florida Department of Children & Families.would like to obtain feedback from your company on what your customers are saying about the schedule change, and how the longer availability cycle will help stores keep their shelves better stocked with inventory, please provide feedback by email to: Robin R. Ingram at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

FRF Defeats Paid Sick Leave Bill

The Florida Retail Federation is proud of its efforts in stopping a potentially negative bill from impacting your business and wanted to share the good news. FRF members raised concerns regarding SB294 because we feel it would create burdensome mandates for Florida businesses and hinder a competitive marketplace by mandating paid sick leave.

In the Senate Commerce & Tourism Subcommittee SB294 was defeated and will not be passed in 2016.

Attention FGA Associate Members – We Want to Promote Your Company
FGA has launched a new program to recognize Florida Grocers Association’s Associate (Supplier) Members. Our intention is to feature one of our Supplier members in each of our “THE CHECKOUT” e-newsletters. It is entitled – “Associate Member Spotlight” – but we need your information. Please send us your logo and a SHORT paragraph describing your company. Please email this information toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ira Higdon, the Grocer’s Best Resource
Four generations of Higdons have served the local grocer since 1909. Our turn-of-the-century operation served neighborhood grocers from a Cairo warehouse with five employees, one mule and a wagon. Today, we serve the independent grocer with a broad array of food products, both Fresh and Dry, health and beauty care, as well as general merchandise with a modern fleet from our Cairo Distribution Center. Our professional retail marketing field staff and in-house buying staff help you make competitive decisions to ensure your success.

“Product, pricing structure and delivery are a given. The best thing we have to offer is our experience. It is our people who make Ira Higdon what it is.”

Look Who Just Joined FGA

  • Piggly Wiggly, Alabama
  • ECRS
  • Price Choice Food Market, Miami Gardens FL
  • Top Value Supermarket, Opa Locka, FL
  • Price Choice Foodmarket, Miami FL
  • Price Choice Foodmarket, Hialeah FL
  • Tropical Supermarket, Miami Gardens

SAVE the DATE Wednesday, April 27th | Food Safety Workshop – Miami

Published in Grocery Council
Friday, 05 February 2016 16:02

The Checkout 2-5-2016

FRF Grocery Update | February 5, 2016

We Need Your Help to Inform Your Customers of Expanded SNAP Benefits

FRF/The Florida Grocers Association was successful in working with The Department of Children and Families to expand SNAP Benefits from 15 days to 28 days distribution, starting in March. The SNAP recipients are being notified by DCF – but now WE NEED YOUR HELP TO INFORM YOUR CUSTOMERS. This expansion of Food Assistance (SNAP) will benefit everyone – better service and inventory levels for your customers and grocers will be able to balance their labor force. Linked below is sample language both in English and Spanish to be posted on Bulletin Boards, at checkout lanes, bag stuffers, etc. PLEASE REPRODUCE THE LINKED MESSAGES AND USE THEM TO AID IN THE COMMUNICATION PROCESS.

HERE ARE THE LINKS:

For frequently asked questions please click.

The Florida Department of Children & Families.would like to obtain feedback from your company on what your customers are saying about the schedule change, and how the longer availability cycle will help stores keep their shelves better stocked with inventory, please provide feedback by email to: Robin R. Ingram at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Published in Grocery Council
Tuesday, 14 April 2015 13:49

Grocery Council Check Out Line 3-31-2015

FRF Grocery Update | March 31, 2015

This issue of THE CHECKOUT LINE contains important items that you as Florida food retailers need to address.

Menu Labeling

If you have 20 or more stores under the same name, you must comply with the Menu Labeling Standards. The greatest challenge is the compliance date of December 1, 2015. Please click for more information on these requirements.

Grinding Logs

Recently the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) published a proposed rule to modify recordkeeping for retail stores that grind raw beef products. According to the proposal the retailer must keep records that disclose the identity and contact information of the supplier of all source materials that they use in the preparation of each lot of raw ground beef.

Again this is a proposed rule, and FRF's Grocery Council will be weighing in with our national partners (FMI and NGA) to make your voice heard. We will keep you updated on this rule. See the FRF website for more information.

Ambush Union Elections

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has adopted new election rules for union elections for determining if employees will be covered by a union. For years, the average period of time between filing the petition and the actual election has been 38-42 days. Under this new rule the election could be in as few as 11 days! By reducing this time period, employers will find it difficult to share both sides of the story with their employees. Thus favoring the union and making it more difficult to be union free. Despite the fact that congress passed a joint resolution to disagree with this rule, we are no doubt facing an Obama veto. Therefore, the effective date of this rule is April 14, 2015. Please click for more detailed information and recommendations on dealing with this critical issue.

Coupon Bar Codes - Change is Coming Soon#

JICC Urges Retailers to Prepare for Retirement of Coupon Barcodes

On January 29th the Joint Industry Coupon Committee (JICC) urged retailers to prepare for the retirement of UPC Prefix 5 barcodes from manufacturer coupons. These symbols will no longer be used after June 30, 2015 as manufacturers shift to exclusive use of the GS1 DataBar™ format for coupons. To ensure readiness, retailers may simply need to enable the functionality in their systems. In some instances, software and/or hardware modifications may be required. To avoid a disadvantaged position in the marketplace after June 30, retailers are encouraged to implement and activate these technologies as soon as possible.

The decision to move to exclusive use of the GS1 DataBar™ was announced in 2007, with the phase out period for UPC Prefix 5 barcodes beginning in 2011 and concluding June 30, 2015. For additional information, visit the GS1 US website, courtesy of NGA. Also, see the FRF website for more details.

SNAP Update

Once again we want to inform you that SNAP EBT cards will begin to expire in the month of April. All EBT recipients will receive a new card in the mail. The problem comes when a recipient has moved and has not provided their new address to the Department of Children and Families. See the FRF website for a poster explaining this which you can post for customers to see.

We are pleased to report that we are making progress in the expansion of SNAP benefits from 15 days to 28 days. We will keep you updated with our progress.

Mark Your Calendars:

June 10th—FRF Summer Meeting - Rosen Shingle Creek, Orlando
Grocery Council - 10:00am-Noon
Loss Prevention Council - 1:30-3:30pm

October 12th—Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Awards Dinner
5:00-7:30pm - Downtown Hilton Tampa

Welcome Reception—FRF Loss Prevention Conference - 7:30-9:00pm
Downtown Hilton Tampa

October 13th—FRF Loss Prevention Conference - 8:00am-4:00pm
Downtown Hilton Tampa

Published in Grocery Council
Friday, 20 February 2015 16:37

Grocery Council Meeting

Save the Date!

Mark your calendar to attend the next meeting of FRF's Grocery Council. There will be a packed agenda with important items affecting all of us.

When: Thursday, March 19th; 9:00-Noon pm
Where: Publix Corporate Offices
3300 Publix Corporate Parkway
Lakeland, Florida 33811

Agenda items to include:

  • National labor relations, NLRB activity
  • Obama's overtime executive order
  • Menu labeling
  • Mobile app problems - check cashing
  • SNAP distribution
  • Food Safety Modernization Act
  • Coupon Bar Codes are changing

Please RSVP to: Sherry Whitney, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (850.222.4082)

Looking forward to seeing you on March 19th!

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