PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE / WASHINGTON UPDATE July 30, 2021

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July 30, 2021
 

.PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE / WASHINGTON UPDATE

 

From the desk of the ALA President

Driving more people to commissaries will aid in efforts to relieve food insecurity issues for military. Congress and the Pentagon need to leverage the stated 24 to 27 percent savings in the commissaries to assist troops that are experiencing “food insecurity.” ALA and its members have been assisting the Military Family Advisory Network in its drive to provide food for military families. And both the House and the Senate are moving on legislation to provide a “Basic Needs Allowance” for lower paid troops. The measures have been prompted by concerns over food insecurity in the ranks. The DoD needs to further micro-target the problem by leveraging the existing commissary program that already has as its stated purpose to provide low-cost food to the troops. This micro-targeting could take the form of providing vouchers in the form of debit cards that would be able to be used in the commissaries For every dollar that the troops now spend for food, they can save nearly 25 percent at the commissaries. Congress, the Pentagon, and military patrons (through the surcharge fund) have invested heavily in the commissary program. They should use this investment to address the problem of food insecurity. ALA will be working to remind policymakers of the commissary benefit and how it can help in addressing this issue.

Updated Mask Guidance for all DoD installations and Other Facilities

“In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on “Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People,” issued July 27, 2021, the above reference is hereby rescinded.”

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.PENTAGON AND MILITARY NEWS

 

Defense bills would provide new food allowance for low-income military families
Military.com
A House panel is weighing a $770 billion defense policy bill that includes a provision to give lower-income military families a basic needs allowance — a stipend that advocacy groups say would relieve stress and “food insecurity” among U.S. troops.

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DoD now ‘all in’ to address military food insecurity
Military Times
What is the scope of the problem of hunger in military families?

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 PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Bisek & Company, Inc. Military Resale Distributing Agent and Broker
Understands how important the benefit of the Commissary and Exchange is to the active duty and retired military service personnel. We will work with a manufacturer to bring their variety of products to this unique market. Bisek & Company’s sales team is dedicated to doing what it takes to keep those special shoppers coming back to the Commissaries and Exchanges. Contact Bisek & Company so we may help you better understand what it takes to succeed in expanding your role in this very special benefit. Contact Jennifer Harrell (jennifer@bisek.com) or Laurie Cust (laurie@bisek.com)

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Plans for military pay raise, extra allowance for low-income troops move ahead
Military Times
The idea of a basic needs allowance for younger military families has been debated frequently in recent years, but sees its best chance of passage later this fall.

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Many soldiers still aren’t vaccinated; What’s the Army’s plan?
Military.com
Thousands of soldiers are still not vaccinated against COVID-19, and Army leaders are moving to educate the unvaccinated as the deadly Delta variant sweeps through the country.

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Senate authorizers want to fund the Army’s entire wish list
Defense News
The Senate Armed Services Committee would fund the U.S. Army’s entire list of unfunded requirements — also called a wish list — consisting of things the service wanted, but couldn’t pay for within the limitations of its top line fiscal 2022 budget request, according to a recent summary of the committee’s markup of the FY22 defense policy bill.

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VA health care workers will be required to get COVID-19 vaccines to keep their jobs
Military Times
Department of Veterans Affairs leaders will require all health care employees to receive the coronavirus vaccine by mid-September or lose their jobs under a new policy announced recently.

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DoD mask mandates are coming back for certain COVID-19 hotspots
Military Times
Mask mandates are back at certain DoD facilities.

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Come Home to Savings: Commissaries, industry suppliers partner to create more opportunities to save for the military community
DVIDS
“Come Home to Savings, Shop Your Local Commissary” is a joint DeCA and industry sales promotion coming to commissaries worldwide starting in August that will offer more opportunities to save for service members and their families.

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Food industry reimagines ‘future of work’
Supermarket News
FMI-Deloitte study gauges changing workforce in wake of pandemic, online shopping boom.

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New opportunities exist for foodservice at retail as shopping behaviors shift
Supermarket News
FMI study underscores implications for supermarkets to capture and expand pre-pandemic share of food dollars.

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.INDUSTRY NEWS

 

Walmart hopes two new brands will lure back-to-school shoppers
Adweek
As 56 million American students prepare to go back to school — resulting in a projected $33 billion in spend — Walmart is touting two new brands to appeal to kids and parents alike: Justice and Bubble. In a blog post, Denise Incandela, EVP of Apparel and Private Brands at Walmart U.S., called Justice a “beloved tween brand” that will bring its “fresh, trend-inspired designs to 2,400 Walmart stores and Walmart.com.”

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Cash-flush Americans lift US retail sales; shortages depress auto purchases
Reuters
U.S. retail sales unexpectedly increased in June as demand for goods remained strong even as spending is shifting back to services, supporting expectations that economic growth accelerated in the second quarter. The rebound in sales reported by the Commerce Department was despite purchases of motor vehicles declining for a second straight month due to a lack of supply caused by a global semiconductor shortage.

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.MILITARY AND RESALE NEWS

 

Army & Air Force Exchange Service Director and CEO Newsletter
Exchange Community Hub
Download the latest edition of Army & Air Force Exchange Director/CEO Newsletter – July 2021.

DOWNLOAD

 

AAFES donates half a million to Yokota
DVIDS
Julia Woods, Yokota Army and Air Force Exchange Service general manager, center, presents Col. Patrick Launey, 374th Mission Support Group commander and Chief Master Sgt. Christopher Dehm, 374th MSG superintendent, a check symbolizing the $512,996.85 that AAFES donated to the base for 2020’s earnings at Yokota Air Base, Japan, July 13, 2021. Approximately 60 percent of the profits made from Yokota’s AAFES are donated annually to Yokota quality-of-life programs.

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Johnson & Johnson is voluntarily recalling specific Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen products
Defense Commissary Agency
Johnson & Johnson is voluntarily recalling specific Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen products, due to low levels of benzene, a cancer causing substance, according to a recall notice from the Defense Commissary Agency’s food safety office sent July 15. Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen, a substance that could potentially cause cancer depending on the level and extent of exposure.

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Commissary customers can order online beginning July 26
Eglin Air Force Base
The Eglin Commissary will use the Click2go delivery service beginning July 26. Base customers can use a computer or mobile device to order online where they select from commissary products offered based on the store’s stock assortment. After products are selected, the shopper selects a pickup time and pays for the order. At the appointed time they park in designated parking spaces where commissary workers bring out their groceries.

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MCX Inventory Management Efforts Deliver Strong Year End of Year Results
Marine Corps Exchange
Over the past year, the retail industry has seen historic ups and down related to product availability challenges and changes in customer shopping patterns as a result of the global pandemic. The Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) also encountered similar issues but with collaborative initiatives through the Resale Buying Alliance and with the help of the vendor community, MCX was able adjust merchandising plans, stabilize sales, and meet the needs of customers.

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.FOOD SERVICE NEWS

 

What American Logistics Association (ALA) Can Do For Your Business — Article 7
David Staples. DS Consulting LLC
What ALA can do for your business in supporting the Government business channel opportunities for current and new members with a wide range of tools and communication in assisting with your business opportunities.

Navigating the Government business channels whether it is with the DECA (Commissary), Exchanges, VA Canteen, MWR or the new business channel for ALA in Military Food Service opportunities for your products can be confusing across all of these venues.

ALA can be the voice to assist in answering your questions as you move through these business channels as well as a sounding board for introduction to key players in these channels. The professional leadership within ALA brings a magnitude of experience in these business channels to assist you in presenting your products for sale.

Understanding the requirements of each of these channels for sale of your products is critical in meeting their needs and requirements. Whether that be based on policy, nutrition, allergies, vegan, and buying guide standards/specifications, etc.. ALA can assist in providing direction on these business channel presentations for sales to the business channel leaders.

Visit the ALA website for more information on these business channels at American Logistics Association — Where Helping Members Succeed Is Our Business (ala-national.org).

KEY EVENTS — mark your calendars:

  • ALA Annual Convention 2021 will be held at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott from October 18-20, 2021. Please plan on attending as we hold our 1st Food Service Workshop during this convention.
  • ALA is also planning the 1st Food Service Conference and Food Show in March 20-22, 2022. We are looking at some key note speakers and food service updates. Should be a great time to network and present new ideas for the food service business channel.

ALA can assist you in presenting your company, your capabilities, your quality products and how they fit into their healthy dining experience and consumer acceptability. What your company brings to the table in value added services, such as: equipment, supplies, accessories, and training to support your commitment to retail or food service programs. Communication is key to maintaining your product on the catalog and use by these business channels.

Understanding the process and requirements, is critical and fundamental in being successful in new and continued sales of your products.

 

.MARK YOUR CALENDAR

 

Date Event More Information
Aug. 16-18 2021 Daniel K. Akaka Conference and Food, 24th Annual Event Prince Waikiki Hotel
Oct. 18-20 ALA Annual Convention 2021 Norfolk Waterside Marriott
Oct. 21 Save the Date: Hampton Roads Oyster Roast Scholarship Golf event TBD

Specific information on upcoming ALA events is posted regularly on the ALA website.

 

 
ALA Executive Briefing

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Rebecca Eberhardt, Sr. Content Editor, Multiview, 469-420-2608 | Contribute News

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