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 March 19, 2020 


As news about the coronavirus outbreak is ever-evolving, we’re continuing to curate the advocacy news and resources needed to help members navigate the global pandemic.  

Our daily report includes key information by sector and a comprehensive roundup from FleishmanHillard, our crisis communication agency.

You can help ensure our communications reach the right people within our industry and within your organizations by sharing this email and asking them to subscribe.

USDA Secretary Perdue Briefing

NABC participated in this morning’s briefing by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. The secretary reiterated that the USDA would continue to do everything it can to help process H2A Visa applications. He encouraged growers with any H2A access issues to email USDA directly at

The secretary also said they were working with the U.S. Department of Transportation to help ensure that the quick replenishment of supplies would continue. In addition to the Trump administration waiving trucking rules for food, Sec. Perdue invited the ag industry to help them identify ways to keep continuity in the supply chain. Anyone finding supply chain or logistical challenges during this time is invited to reach out to USDA directly at

Market Demand: Grocery Continues To See Sharp Demand

Grocery stores saw a sharp spike in visits around March 11 and 13 as the virus spread and concerns heightened, according to Foursquare. The spread has caused many U.S. consumers to panic buy and stock up on goods, creating massive spikes in demand at grocery stores and warehouse clubs. 

Grocery delivery apps also saw record download levels due to the outbreak. On Sunday, online grocery apps, including Instacart, Walmart Grocery and Shipt hit yet another new record for daily downloads for their respective apps, according to Apptopia. Comparing the average daily downloads in February to March 15, Instacart, Walmart Grocery and Shipt have seen their daily downloads surge by 218%, 160% and 124%, respectively.

Labor Screening: The ADA and Rehabilitation Act, COVID-19 Guidance

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is clarifying requirements around the ADA and Rehabilitation Act and providing guidance on employee screening related to the coronavirus. The EEOC makes clear that COVID-19 guidance is rapidly evolving and that employers should continue to track the most current information. 

Of particular interest is this question: When may an ADA-covered employer take the body temperature of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Generally, measuring an employee's body temperature is a medical examination. Because the CDC and state/local health authorities have acknowledged community spread of COVID-19 and issued attendant precautions, employers may measure employees' body temperature. However, employers should be aware that some people with COVID-19 do not have a fever. 


Small-Business Relief: A Look at First Laws in Response to the Pandemic 
The first coronavirus response law (Public Law 116-123) provided $8 billion for health and international programs and made $7 billion in small business loans available. A second package (H.R. 6201) provides paid leave, tax credits, expanded unemployment and nutrition assistance, and free testing. A third legislative response is underway with negotiations between Congress and the administration. Tax breaks or other aid for affected industries are expected.


COVID-19 Coverage Roundup 
Here’s today’s roundup from our crisis communication agency, FleishmanHillard.

Food & Agriculture COVID-19 Monitoring
5 Coronavirus Things: USDA Announces Private Sector School Feeding Partnerships Food Management
A Covid-19 Cure for Restaurants: Reaching Older Diners QSR
A Wholesale Grocery Will Deliver Directly to the Public The New York Times
After Covid-19, how Soon Back to Normal? Or 'New Normal' The Packer
Assortments, Promotions Dwindle as Retailers and Brands Meet Pandemic Challenge Grocery Business
Can Pigs Catch Covid-19? Farm Progress
Chefs Launch Petition to Save Restaurants During Coronavirus, with Help from Alice Waters, Reem Assil and More Forbes
Chef's, Restaurants Petition Lawmakers to Save America's Restaurants Restaurant Hospitality
Chicago Schools Hand out 20,000 Meal Packages During Closures Smart Brief
Coronavirus Puts Downward Pressure on Dairy Markets Capital Press
Coronavirus will Change the Grocery Industry Forever CNN
COVID-19: Emerging Brands Refine Go-to-Market Strategies, Marketing: ‘This is Survival Time’ Food Navigator
COVID-19: Packaged Food & Beverage Brands Enjoy Surging Sales, but Mass Unemployment Could Change the Landscape Rapidly Feed Navigator
Crippled by Coronavirus, Restaurants Want Assistance from the Same Governments that Shut Them Down The Washington Post
CV-19, Other Factors Lead to Strong Produce Sales Produce News
Distilled Spirits Council Working with Congress to Ease Tax Hurdles Hampering Efforts to Produce Hand Sanitizer FSR
Down to Zero: Argentine Farms, Hotels and Theaters Sideswiped as Coronavirus Spreads Reuters
Eat JUST, Inc. Expands Internationally Amid Covid-19 Crisis Feed Navigator
Eating Out may Never be the Same in U.S. Bloomberg
Empty Grocery Shelves are Alarming, but not Permanent NPR
EU Border Restrictions Due to Virus are Disrupting Food Supply Reuters
Farm Groups Call on Pompeo to Speed H-2A Approvals AgriPulse
Farm to Fork Delayed, CAP Deadline, COVID-19 Euractiv
Farmers call for measures to secure food production as COVID-19 crisis bites Euractiv
FDA Officials Repeat Messages to Remain Calm About Food Safety During Outbreak Food Safety News
FDA Stops Enforcing Onsite Audits and Testing of Imported Food The Packer
FDA Suspends Routine Domestic Food Facility Inspections AgriPulse
Fighting Fear with Beer: Virus Spurs Curbside Beer Sales Associated Press
Food Banks Face Dilemma; More Demand, Fewer Volunteers The Washington Post
Food Industry: Tell Americans There is Plenty of Food Forbes
Food, Beverage & CPG Players Ask Legislators, Regulators for Relief from Negative Impact of Covid-19 Food Navigator
For U.S. Small Restaurants, Coronavirus Impact is Swift and Brutal Reuters
From Boeing to Tennessee Whiskey, Coronavirus U.S. Bailout Requests Top $2 Trillion Reuters
German Minister Rings Alarm Over Virus Risk to Food Supply Chain Bloomberg
Green Deal Facing Delays Due to Coronavirus, EU Admits Euractiv
Grubhub $100 Million Relief Effort isn't What it Seems, Restaurant Owners Say Forbes
H2-A Cutoff Averted as Virus Adds to Labor Worries Capital Press
H-2A Employers Find Complications with COVID-19 Outbreak The Packer
Hormel Foods Reports on its COVID-19 Actions and Community Support Perishable News
Ill. NY. Approve Alcohol with To-go Restaurant Orders Smart Brief
Ind. Schools Provide Pick-up Meals Smart Brief
Industry Reaches Out to Federal Government for Help Grocery Business
Is Your Restaurant Liable if Workers Test Positive for Covid-19 QSR
It's a Huge Blow': How Businesses are Moving Forward After Coronavirus Canceled Expo West Food Dive
Letter from EU Commissioner Wojciechowski to EU Agriculture Ministers European Commission
Livestock Auctions Proceed with Caution Capital Press
London Pubs and Shops may Close but U.K. Capital will Stay Open Bloomberg
National Restaurant Association Sends Restaurant Industry Recovery and Relief Proposal to White House, Projects Economic Impact Restaurant Hospitality
of at Least $225 Billion and 5-7 Million Job Losses
Nearly 30 Percent of People are Afraid to Eat Out, Study Says QSR
New York Restaurant Group Lays Off Around 2,000 People CNN
New York’s Food Distribution Networks Brace for an Unprecedented Threat The New York Times
Nonprofits Tackle Food Waste, Hunger During Outbreak Smart Brief
Organizers Reschedule Food Safety Summit Because of Covid-19 Outbreak Food Safety News
Pandemic Insurance Policy Could Ease Lost Revenue Concerns for Some Farms Farm Progress
Panic Buying Forces South African Supermarkets to Ration Food Reuters
PepsiCo’s Stock Down 10% vs. 28% Decline in S&P 500; But will it Underperform Post Coronavirus? Forbes
Restaurant industry asks for $145 billion recovery fund from the government CNBC
School Buses Deliver Meals to Students at Home Smart Brief
Starbucks Seeks to Reassure Investors: Workers Press Company to Close Stores as Coronavirus Pandemic Spreads The Wall Street Journal
Strong Restaurant Chains May Feast After Coronavirus Famine The Wall Street Journal
Takeout and Curbside Now Total Focus of Many Restaurants The Packer
To Save Restaurants, Chefs and Former Financiers Ask for Tax Relief, New Rules Bloomberg
Touchless Delivery Takes Off as Online Orders Soar Grocery Business
Trump Signs Coronavirus Response Act NACS
UK Online Supermarket Ocado Says Coronavirus Boosting Demand Reuters
UK Supermarkets Expect Police Support if London in Lockdown Reuters
Updated: Here are the Current Temporary Restrictions Imposed on Bars and Restaurants to Stem the Spread of Coronavirus Restaurant Hospitality
Walmart Gives $25M to Fight COVID-19 Progressive Grocer
Walmart Shortens its Hours Even Further and Takes New Measures to Fight Coronavirus CNN
Western Food, Ag Groups Weigh in on Covid-19 Farm Progress
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