PNS Daily Newscast - March 27, 2020 

The U.S. now has more confirmed coronavirus cases than any other country. Despite the pandemic, Election 2020 continues and states are making changes.

2020Talks - March 27, 2020 

3.3 million people reported being jobless last week, according to new Labor Department numbers. And Puerto Rico was supposed to hold primaries this weekend, though they pushed it back to late April, because of COVID-19.

Public News Service - MA: Hunger/Food/Nutrition

Supporters are gathering petitions for a 2016 ballot initiative to curb farm animal confinement in Massachusetts. Courtesy: Humane Society of the United States.

BOSTON - People who are concerned about animal cruelty are hitting the streets gathering support for a 2016 Ballot Initiative to curb farm animal confinement in Massachusetts. Rob Halpin, director of public relations with MSPCA-Angell, says the majority of people, in the Commonwealth and the natio

A window of opportunity opens August 1 for high-needs school districts across the state to sign up for a program that offers universal free meals to all students in high-needs districts. Credit: USDA

BOSTON - A big window of opportunity opens August 1 for high-needs school districts to sign up for a program that provides universal free meals to all students. Patrick Roach, chief financial officer with Springfield Public Schools, says they signed up for the Community Eligibility Provision last

SNAP coordinator Beth Zambia talks with a veteran at the Soldier On shelter in Leeds. At least 26,000 low-income veterans rely on SNAP benefits in the Commonwealth. Courtesy: Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

BOSTON - As Massachusetts gets ready for Independence Day, local hunger-fighting advocates say it's a good time to remember tens of thousands of veterans in the state who must rely on federal benefits to put food on their tables. While most people have been making summer plans, says Pat Baker, seni

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

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 pro

A new (FRAC) report finds Worcester has jumped to the top third for cities where residents are struggling to put food on the table. Credit: Mike Clifford

BOSTON - A new report finds more families are struggling to find food in Worcester than in any other large metro area in the state. Patricia Baker, senior policy analyst with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, says Worcester saw a four percent jump in food hardship that now impacts one in five

PHOTO: Project Breadís Chef Vanessa LaBranche with students is part of the outreach that is moving the Commonwealth out of the basement when it comes to participation in school breakfast. Courtesy: Project Bread

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education now says instruction provided during the breakfast period can be included in structured learning time, and child nutrition advocates say the decision could turn things around when it comes to reaching low-income children wi

PHOTO: The winter storm last month dubbed Juno left Nantucket and parts of Cape Cod flooded and without electricity. Thanks to an extension of SNAP replacement benefits, some residents are going to be able to replace lost or spoiled food. Photo courtesy Galvin/Flickr.

NANTUCKET, Mass. - The several feet of recent snow may have diverted attention from the plight of victims of the storm dubbed Juno that wracked Cape Cod and the islands last month. In Provincetown and Nantucket, however, some residents are getting a break in the wake of that mess. Replacement SNAP

GRAPHIC: While food insecurity in Massachusetts is below the levels in many other states, nearly eleven percent of all Commonwealth households are struggling to put food on the table. Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture.

BOSTON – Food insecurity will not loosen its grip on many Commonwealth households. According to the latest government figures, one in nine Massachusetts households struggled, on average, with hunger over the years 2011-2013. Among those households considered to be food insecure, 4 percent

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