According the the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), General Mills announced today a voluntary national recall of five-pound bags of its Gold Medal Unbleached Flour with a better if used by date of April 20, 2020. The recall is being issued for the potential presence of Salmonella which was discovered during sampling of the five-pound bag product. This recall is being issued out of an abundance of care as General Mills has not received any direct consumer reports of confirmed illnesses related to this product.

This recall only affects this one date code of Gold Medal Unbleached Flour five-pound bags. All other types of Gold Medal Flour are not affected by this recall.

Click here to view the FDA recall announcement.

Due to the spread of incorrect information regarding the early release of February SNAP benefits, the USDA Food Nutrition Services (FSN) is has issued the following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Please feel free to distribute or post in your retail locations. Copies of the FAQs in English, Spanish and Creole can be found in the links below.

When will I get my January benefits?
Your January benefits will be available on your regularly scheduled monthly date. These benefits have not changed due to the government shutdown and will be received on your normal day.

When will I get my February benefits?
February benefits for most people will be available on January 20th. These benefits are your February allotment and you will need to adjust accordingly due to the early release of the benefits.

What happens if my application or eligibility review is approved on or after January 16th?
Your application will be processed, and January benefits will be available the following day. February benefits will be available on your regularly scheduled monthly date.

When will I get my March benefits?
In the event March food assistance (SNAP) benefits are affected by the partial US government shutdown, DCF will immediately notify customers through social media, posters, websites, and other communication outlets.

Will the current benefits on my EBT card still be available after January 31st?
Yes, benefits already deposited on your EBT card will be available. Customers should budget the early release of February benefits accordingly throughout the month.

What retailers will be available to accept my EBT card?
Authorized EBT retailers are available to accept EBT benefits for food. There is a list of current EBT retailers in the state of Florida located here: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailerlocator.

Will Temporary Cash Assistance and Medicaid customers be affected?
The Medicaid Program is funded through 2019 so the shutdown does not impact Medicaid customers. Temporary Cash Assistance benefits are available at least through the month of February.

Where can I go if I need food right away?
If you are having difficulty meeting the food needs for your household, please reach out to community partners and food banks in your area to find out how you can receive assistance. For more information about the location of your regional food banks, visit https://www.feedingflorida.org/taking-action/find-food-now/ and look for the nearest food distribution site.

Printable FAQ- ENGLISH
Printable FAQ- SPANISH
Printable FAQ- CREOLE

Wednesday, 14 November 2018 12:02

Holiday Shopping Forecast

FRF is predicting a very bright sales season for Florida retailers and expecting holiday sales to increase 4.5 percent over 2017. This is due to numerous positive statewide economic indicators including the lowest unemployment rate in more than a decade, strong consumer confidence, record-breaking tourism and more shoppers with more money to spend.

“The holiday shopping season is vital to the success of just about every Florida retailer, and thanks to an extremely strong state economy and more people with jobs, and therefore more money to spend, we expect it to be a big success for our more than 270,000 retail establishments,” said FRF President/CEO Scott Shalley. “It’s a great time to hit the stores and shop for your family and friends, as retailers will face stiff competition for your business, which means great deals and opportunities for consumers.”

Consumers are expected to spend a record $1,007.24 on gifts this holiday season, up considerably over 2017’s total of $967, which was the previous record. Shoppers will spend in three main categories during the holidays:

  • Gifts – $637.67
  • Non-gift holiday items (food, decorations, flowers, etc.) – $215.04
  • Gifts for themselves – $154.53

Top 5 categories for items being purchased:

  • Gift cards
  • Clothing and accessories
  • Books, movies or music
  • Electronics and accessories
  • Home décor and furnishings

The most popular toys this holiday season include:

  • Pomsies
  • Fur-Real Pets
  • The Fortnite version of Monopoly
  • Hatchimals
  • Perennial bestsellers like LEGOs and Barbies

For more information on FRF’s Holiday Shopping Forecast, click here.

Friday, 29 June 2018 09:45

2018 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday

The Florida Department of Revenue (DOR) just released the list of eligible items for the 2018 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday. This sales tax holiday begins Friday, August 3, 2018, and runs through Sunday, August 5, 2018. During this period, qualifying items will be exempt from tax including: certain school supplies selling for $15 or less per item; and clothing, footwear, and certain accessories selling for $60 or less per item.

For more information and a list of qualifying items, please visit the Department of Revenue's Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday website. There you will find DOR’s Tax Information Publication (TIP), as well as a Frequently Asked Questions document. For your convenience, the Department also created digital downloads and social media posts for businesses interested in sharing information about the sales tax holiday.

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