The Arnold Arboretum's traditional Lilac Sunday for Mother's Day has been cancelled again due to the pandemic. It’s almost lilac season at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. Due to the pandemic and in support of public health, the Arboretum will not hold any public programming or Lilac Sunday events this Mother’s Day. However, the lilacs will still put on a spectacular show as a diversity of species and cultivated varieties begin and continue to bloom over the next several weeks. Visitors are encouraged to come explore spring flowering at the Arboretum anytime their schedule permits this month.
Jamaica Plain's Community Servings, a nonprofit provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition services to individuals and families in Massachusetts experiencing critical and chronic illnesses, recently announced another expansion of its meal delivery program with the launch of a targeted COVID-19 meals program to support individuals and their families dealing with food insecurity during the global pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, the number of clients the agency serves weekly has increased by 56 percent, with capacity expanding to meet the need. To help identify and enroll participants in the three-month program, Community Servings is partnering with Massachusetts-based health care providers who can refer individuals that have recently tested positive for COVID-19, as well as those presumed positive or at high risk. “Expanding our medically tailored meal delivery to help feed people impacted by COVID-19 is possible thanks to the generous philanthropic support that we have received over the past year,” said David B. Waters, CEO of Community Servings. “This program, which enables Community Servings to advance its social and health equity vision, is a means for many of our neighbors in need to receive healthy meals tailored by our registered dietitians and cooked with care in our kitchen while safely recovering at home.”
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Community Servings has prepared and delivered nearly 650,000 medically tailored meals to more than 2,000 people.
Back in December, the Canary Square restaurant sadly announced it was closing temporarily after getting hit by the effects of the pandemic. But after being closed for 110 days the business has now reopened. "With the decline in infection numbers in MA and a steady rollout of the vaccine made us feel comfortable to begin the long process of restarting the 'heart' of the restaurant," said owner Michael Moxley to Jamaica Plain News. "Assembling a team will take some time as well so we fired everything back up and we are gonna cautiously crawl out of the gate. We are happy to be back.
106 and counting. That's how many citizens, so far, have signed on as cosponsors to the Vaccine Equity Act after state Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz implored people to do so. Chang-Díaz (D-2nd Suffolk) is a lead sponsor of the bill with Sen. Becca Rausch. People of color account for 51 percent of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, but only 15 percent of those who’ve received vaccines to-date, according to statistics cited by Chang-Diaz. The bill would do the following things:
Require the governor to appoint a vaccine equity director whose sole focus is addressing vaccination disparities rooted in racism, government mistrust, and disparate access to information and resources
Require a robust outreach and communications campaign, both via mass media and direct grassroots tactics (like door-to-door canvassing), aimed at hardest-hit communities
Create a mobile vaccination program for communities with highest COVID rates
Expand Stop the Spread sites to all Gateway Cities
Require transparency about vaccine distribution and implementation plans, including tracking the 20 percent additional doses committed to most-vulnerable communities, the number of unused doses, and key demographic data on vaccinations
The coalition petition also asked Governor Charlie Baker to immediately direct $10 million to trusted community organizations for outreach and engagement in communities of color.