SNAP Government Shutdown Update

Maine Department of Health and Human Services: February SNAP Benefits to be Paid January 17.
Message from Governor Mills.

SNAP Early Issuance Messaging for Retailers: Customers who use SNAP EBT should keep in mind that February food dollars will be added in the middle of January this year. This means that you may have two months’ worth of food dollars on your account this month. No food dollars will be added in February. The early food dollars are meant to help with next month’s food. We encourage our SNAP-participating customers to plan their purchases carefully so that they have money available to meet their food needs.

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Grocers and food producers: Increase in minimum wage creates uncertainty for grocers

Holiday sales are just one bellwether for Maine’s grocery stores and supermarkets going into 2019, according to Christine Cummings. “I’m hopeful that momentum from a strong holiday season will continue into 2019,” said the executive director of the Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association, a trade group representing nearly 200 of the state’s grocers, supermarkets, food and beverage producers and related vendors.

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Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Linked to Romaine Lettuce

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state authorities, continues to investigate a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections associated with consumption of romaine lettuce in the U.S. As of Nov. 26, 2018, this outbreak has resulted in 43 people becoming ill in 12 states, with the last reported illness onset date being Oct. 31, 2018. An additional 22 people in Canada have become ill, and the FDA and our partners are also coordinating the investigation with Canadian health and food safety authorities.

As we continue to investigate this outbreak, today the FDA is announcing new steps to help consumers better identify where their romaine is grown through voluntary labeling.

To learn more visit the FDA’s website.

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Maine becomes only New England State with Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) Program

Select Maine slaughterhouses & processors to wholesale products nationwide

AUGUSTA-The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry announced today that Maine has signed a new Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) program agreement with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) which will allow selected Maine slaughterhouses and processors to wholesale their products in every state and in the District of Columbia. Plant applications will be accepted beginning December 1, 2018.

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Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association Awards 2018 Grocer, Producer, and Associate of the Year

AUGUSTA, MAINE  – October 11th, 2018  – The Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association (MGFPA) is proud to announce their respected 2018 award recipients.  Brackett’s Market of Bath is the 2018 Grocer of the Year; Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections of Freeport is the 2018 Producer of the Year; and Associated Grocers of New England in Pembroke, NH is the 2018 Associate of the Year.

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