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Boneless Chicken Scarce, Food Supply Chain ‘Breaking’ Amid Pandemic



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The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a major toll on the North American meat industry, and boneless chicken in particular.

Food stores in the United States and Canada are stocking the shelves with chicken thighs and drumsticks, as opposed to the more popular boneless chicken legs and breasts, according to a Fortune report. The neighboring nations have reduced slaughter capacity due to novel coronavirus infections among workers at some of the largest meat processing plants. Some plants have even limited the types of cuts available to consumers.

President Donald Trump, citing his authority under the Defense Production Act, declared in an executive order Tuesday that “it is important that processors of beef, pork, and poultry (‘meat and poultry’) in the food supply chain continue operating and fulfilling orders to ensure a continued supply of protein for Americans.”

The food supply chain has been hurting since mid-March, when the COVID-19 outbreak intensified and shutdowns began. Tyson Foods (the nation’s second-largest processor of chicken, beef and pork) Chairman John Tyson warned Sunday that the U.S. “food supply chain is breaking” and that “there will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed.”

White House officials have indicated they will issue safety guidance for food plants to help protect their workers from the virus.

On Tuesday, the President received praise from The North American Meat Institute, the oldest and largest association representing the U.S. meat and poultry packing and processing industry.

“We are grateful to (President Trump) for protecting our nation’s food supply,” President and CEO Julie Anna Potts wrote in a statement. “The safety of the heroic men & women working in the meat & poultry industry is the 1st priority. And as it is assured, facilities should re-open.”

According to the Fortune report, “outbreaks have shut down almost a third of U.S. pork capacity.” Meanwhile, the Canadian company Cargill Inc. has halted production at its beef plant in High River, Alberta, which “accounts for about 40% of country’s processing capacity.”

As of Tuesday morning, more than 4,400 meatpacking workers nationwide have tested positive for the virus, with at least 18 workers succumbing to the virus, according to USA TODAY/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting tracking. Employees in at least 80 plants across 26 states have been infected with COVID-19. Additionally, there have been at least 28 closures of plants for at least one day.

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Massachusetts Democrat Mayor wants to end ‘right-to-shelter’ law amidst migrant crisis



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More Democrat leaders from non-border states are wising up to the immigration crisis our nation faces. Woburn mayor Scott Galvin, of the progressive state of Massachusetts, is hoping that lawmakers will overturn a 40-year-old law because the reality of being “bleeding heart liberals” is resulting in the demise of his town.

The 40-year-old “right-to-shelter” law has got to go, says mayor Galvin, because of the immense strain the thousands of migrant families are putting on the area’s residents. By Friday, there were about 150 families living in the city’s hotels, an “unsustainable” arrangement for his 40,000 constituents.

Galvin told the New York Times the right-to-shelter law, which only exists in Massachusetts, was “passed at a different time, and was not meant to cover what we’re seeing now.”

National Review reports:

Under the 1983 right-to-shelter law, Massachusetts officials are legally required to offer housing to any homeless families seeking shelter in the state. The law now covers a rising influx of migrant families, although individuals are not covered under its provisions.

“We’re going above and beyond, while some communities around us are not being impacted, and we don’t have endless capacity in our schools,” said Galvin. “The benefits that are bestowed on migrants make the state a very attractive destination, and without some changes, this challenge is not going to abate.”

Massachusetts Democrat Governor Maura Healey already declared a state of emergency on August 8th, requesting help from the federal government. On August 31, Healey activated up to 250 Massachusetts National Guard members to assist the more than 6,000 migrant families already in the state’s shelter system.

Approximately 6,300 families are living in emergency shelters and hotels across the state, up roughly 50 percent from the year prior. The cost for such accommodations for all the migrants is approximately $45 million per month, National Review reports.

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