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[email protected]: Whole Foods truck drivers threaten to strike | Food industry wins and losses in 2020 referendums

UNFI unfi trailer truck
Each day at 5 p.m. we collect the five top food and supplement headlines of the day, making it easy for you to catch up on today's most important natural products industry news.

Grocery truck drivers who supply Whole Foods threaten to strike

Over 100 truck drivers in New York are claiming that Whole Foods supplier UNFI hasn't given them basic personal protective equipment like masks and hand sanitizer or sanitized its truck fleet in months. Teamster's Local 445 members authorized a strike this past Sunday. UNFI spokesperson Jeff Swanson stated in response to the news that the union is “disseminating falsehoods and shamelessly exploiting the pandemic in an effort to try gaining negotiating leverage.” New York Post has the story.

2020 referendums backed by big money deliver victory and loss for food industry

This week California voters approved Proposition 22, which means employees of app-based food delivery services will remain independent contractors. Gig companies like DoorDash and Postmates spent more than $225 million on the initiative. Down in Florida over 61% of voters approved a state constitutional amendment that will bring minimum wage up to $15 per hour by 2026 (it's currently $8.56 per hour). Also, 67% of New Jersey's voters approved recreational marijuana. Read more at The Food Institute.

How the specter of contagious disease changes what we want to eat

Shoppers have been inconsistent when it comes to their intentions whilst grocery shopping over the course of the pandemic. While organic and healthy products have seen a big boost in sales, so too have comfort food brands and fast-food restaurants. A new paper from marketing expert Gregory carpenter argues that the reason for this dissonance is the disgust and fear that accompanies the presence of disease. Disgust and fear prompt shoppers to hanker for old, familiar products when they know they should be eating to support their immune systems. Head to Kellogg Insight for more analysis.

USDA expands SNAP online purchasing to more retailers

Forty-six states and the District of Columbia will now allow recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to shop and pay for groceries online from six authorized retailers. The new retailers in the program include Piggly Wiggly and Aldi for Alabama and Georgia, respectively. Supermarket News reports.

'Food justice is racial justice': Bing and Myisha Turner's ongoing fight to address food insecurity in the Black community

Food insecurity has increased dramatically throughout the course of the pandemic, especially among Black families. This is why the founders of Bernice's Grocery Store in Louisiana plan to open several businesses in traditionally underserved Black communities to give them access to fresh and nutritious fare, in addition to serving as a hub for events such as barbeques, health screenings, movie nights and crawfish and fish fry's. Bing and Myisha Turner were interviewed at Forbes about their journey.

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