Today’s quick hits, April 30, 2020

Senators want meat investigation (FERN’s Ag Insider): Sens. Tammy Baldwin, a Democrat, and Josh Hawley, a Republican, have called on the Federal Trade Commission to open an antitrust investigation into the nation’s meatpackers.

Increase SNAP in next coronavirus bill (Merkley): Half of Senate Democrats signed a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer saying that the next coronavirus relief bill should increase SNAP benefits by 15 percent and that USDA proposals to tighten SNAP eligibility should be suspended.

House Ag turns 200 (House Agriculture): The House Agriculture Committee has reached its bicentennial; it was created under a resolution introduced on April 29, 1820, and officially passed by the House four days later, on May 3.

Coronavirus response echoes Depression efforts (Purdue): “The parallels are very clear,” said historian Douglas Hurt, comparing the coronavirus relief package created by the USDA with the 1933 Agricultural Adjustment Act: Both sent money to farm families and purchased surplus food from producers.

Grocery shopping like it’s 1996 (Quartz): Thanks to stay-at-home orders in response to Covid-19, Americans purchased 63 percent of their food and drink in stores during March, the sector’s highest share of the food dollar since January 1996 and a reversal of the trend of consuming food outside the home, said the Census Bureau.