Today’s quick hits, April 5, 2019

SNAP retailers granted more leeway (USDA): The USDA said it will change its definition of “variety” to give retailers more flexibility in meeting a requirement to stock a range of staple foods for sale to SNAP participants.

Food fight over school lunch (The Lunch Tray): Public health groups are suing the Department of Agriculture over a new rule that reduced the whole-grain standard for school meals.

Wine sector deal (The Sacramento Bee): The country’s largest winery, E. & J. Gallo, has agreed to buy $1.7 billion worth of wine brands from its No. 3 competitor, Constellation Brands.

Creator of Swiss Miss dies (Washington Post): Charles Sanna, a Wisconsin dairy engineer who used a warehouse of surplus milk powder to launch the instant-hot-chocolate industry by concocting a mix still sold as Swiss Miss, died last month at 101.

Eating habits change with age, education (USDA): College graduates devote more time — by roughly a quarter-hour per day — to eating than do high school graduates, and Americans tend to spend more time on meals as they get older, according to a survey.

UN food index rises for third month (FAO): The Food Price Index, an average of international prices for five commodity groups, rose fractionally in March due to a continued rise in dairy prices this year. The index is the highest it’s been since last August.