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A historic summit between North and South Korea. Also on the Friday rundown: teachers continue their fight for funding; the EPA chief grilled on Capitol Hill; and remembering those who’ve lost their lives on the job.

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Massachusetts Treading Water on Summer Meals for Kids

A new (FRAC) report find other states are catching up, but Massachusetts still is among the tops in the nation in getting nutritious summer meals to kids. Credit: Michael Dwyer
A new (FRAC) report find other states are catching up, but Massachusetts still is among the tops in the nation in getting nutritious summer meals to kids. Credit: Michael Dwyer
June 4, 2015

BOSTON – Summer months can be lots of fun, but efforts are under way to ensure they don't leave more children in the Commonwealth going hungry.

Ellen Parker, executive director of the anti-hunger group Project Bread, says a new report indicates that the state slipped out of the top 10 in providing children access to summer meals.

She says that is mostly because other states are doing better.

Bottom line – she says Project Bread does know what works in the Bay State, and it is serving more children than ever.

"The food has to be surrounded by fun,” Parker states. “They learn to do things. The girls are learning to sew, and they have a fashion show. It's all about the activities. "

The report from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) finds on the average day last summer more than 3 million children took advantage of free lunch programs. That's an increase of more than 200,000 nationwide from the year before.

Parker says New England states have a long history of handling issues at the town and county level, and that impacts how the state performs.

"We have almost 400 cities and towns to work with when many other states have 10 counties,” she explains. “So, that can be a bit of a challenge because there is so much autonomy here. "

One of the items pending in Congress this year is renewal of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act.

FRAC is recommending continued investments to get nutritious meals to children while they are in school.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA