Resource Library

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The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.


Expiration of enhanced Child Tax Credit looms, including for 229,000 Maine kids

December 3, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Food Security, Maine, Racial Equity

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports on the status of the Child Tax Credit in December. The credit enhancements, including making the credit fully refundable, increasing the credit’s maximum value, and allowing families to claim 17-year-olds, have infused more than 39 million households with monthly income since July 2021. As the credit expansions were only slated through 2021, those enhancements will be rolled back if the Build Back Better legislation calling for their extension does not pass. CBPP notes that nearly three-fifths of households use their credit in part to offset food costs, and that the loss of this credit would trigger a widening of racial-ethnic gaps in child poverty. About 90 percent of Maine children have been eligible for the expanded credit in 2021, translating to 229,000 Mainers under 18 who would lose out in its absence.

College collects outside-the-classroom data on students to provide supports needed to keep them in the classroom

September 16, 2021 – Older YouthChildcare, COVID-19, Education, Food Security

The Chronicle of Higher Education describes how the pandemic has inspired colleges to enhance data collection on students’ basic needs as a strategic effort to support student well being and improve graduation rates. The article highlights Amarillo College, a two-year college in Texas with about 9,000 enrolled students. While the school has asked students about housing and food insecurity for five years, the pandemic encouraged administrators to invest in more sophisticated data infrastructure. Responses to the survey have been used to meet broad student needs—like partnering with community organizations to implement more bus routes—and in the pandemic, for identifying specific students who need assistance with rent, food, and childcare (using federal pandemic relief funds). In the years since implementing the initial student survey, the college has seen its graduation and transfer rates nearly double, from 30 to 58 percent.

How COVID relief funds continue to feed one California county’s seniors

August 11, 2021 – SeniorsCOVID-19, Food Security

In response to the uptick in pandemic-related food insecurity, California Governor Gavin Newsom supported the “Great Plates” program in Spring 2020, which used federal funding to purchase and deliver local restaurant meals to seniors facing food insecurity. With the recent expiration of funds for that program, San Mateo County has decided to leverage its own COVID relief funds to continue a variation on the program through the next two fiscal years. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Material hardship declines after Child Tax Credit payout

August 11, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Food Security

A new analysis of Household Pulse Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau finds that fewer households experienced trouble obtaining sufficient food and paying household expenses in the two-week period following the first Child Tax Credit advance payments began on July 15. Comparing reported food insufficiency rates between adults in households with children and those in households without, the analysis shows a 2.6 percentage point decline in food insufficiency among households with kids after the credit was issued, compared with no decline in households without children. Trouble paying expenses declined by 2.5 percentage points among households with children in this period, compared with a 1 percentage point increase in reported difficulty among households without children. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Spanish-speaking Hispanic households faced higher levels of food insufficiency during COVID-19

July 7, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Food Security, Racial Equity

New research from the Census Bureau finds that Spanish-speaking Hispanic populations have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The research finds food insufficiency rates consistently twice as high as among English-speaking Hispanic respondents, and employment loss at 50 percent higher. The analysis suggests unique risks for food insecurity in this population, including greater income insecurity and loss of employment. Further, safety net supports like SNAP may be less accessible to Hispanic Spanish speakers due to language barriers, inadequate advertising of benefit program availability, or eligibility concerns. #covid-19 #foodaccess #racialequity

Legacy of housing discrimination leaves underserved neighborhoods without healthy food access

June 30, 2021 – FamiliesFood Security, Housing, Racial Equity

A study of housing patterns and food environments publicized by the Urban Institute has been published in Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology and demonstrates a link between housing discrimination and neighborhood investment. Using data from the University of Richmond, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the City of Baltimore, the authors find that “blockbusting”—when realtors “persuade white homeowners to sell their properties cheaply because of fears that people of color are moving into a neighborhood, and then resell those properties to newcomers for a profit” is associated with barriers to food access. Specifically, the authors find that areas experiencing historical and ongoing blockbusting score substantially lower on a healthy food access index than areas never subjected to the practice. #housing #racialequity #foodsecurity

Programs to help children in poverty overlap to supplement their needs

June 30, 2021 – Young ChildrenCOVID-19, Food Security

In 2017, approximately 92 percent of children who received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits also utilized other government assistance including Medicaid, CHIP, SNAP, WIC, TANF, SSI, and Social Security. Most commonly, children received Medicaid/CHIP benefits in addition to SNAP (89 percent of SNAP recipients here), while only one in ten also received TANF. The piece suggests that the substantial overlap in program participation stems in part from similar income-eligibility requirements for each program, although program size and reach do not allow complete overlap. At the time these data were collected through the 2018 Survey of Income and Program Participation, an estimated 14.6 million U.S. children—or one in five—utilized SNAP benefits. These numbers are sure to increase in the pandemic, as overall SNAP participation has increased by around 13 percent. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Successes of Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program provide model for summer nutrition, if made permanent

June 30, 2021 – Young ChildrenCOVID-19, Food Security

To compensate for missed school meals amid remote learning, the federally funded, state-administered Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program has provided food stamp-like benefits to families and children who would otherwise rely on free and reduced-price school meals. Although designed as a pandemic response, the program has also addressed a critical gap in providing food assistance to approximately 30 million low-income children during the summer months. Early data from the P-EBT program revealed “the rate of children not getting enough to eat declined by 11 percentage points—which is more than a 30 percent reduction in the usual rate in this population.” #foodsecurity #covid-19

New research finds SNAP participants face barriers to a healthy diet

June 23, 2021 – FamiliesFood Security, Transportation

A U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service study focuses on the barriers that SNAP beneficiaries face in crafting a healthy diet. Using a combination of survey data, nationally representative of SNAP participants, and in-depth interviews, the research finds that 88 percent of SNAP recipients report barriers to accessing healthy foods. Three in five SNAP participants said cost prevented them from buying healthy foods, while 30 percent said lack of time to prepare healthy foods was a barrier, and 20 percent said transportation or distance to the store was. #foodsecurity #transportation

Two policy opportunities to improve the re-entry system for returning citizens

June 8, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Food Security, Racial Equity, Workforce

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities notes that the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan each offer policy opportunities to support incarcerated people’s re-entry into communities. Given the substantial evidence that re-entry is complicated by insufficient supports, legal barriers, and discrimination, these policies offer a chance to improve those support systems and reduce risks of re-incarceration. #covid-19 #racialequity #foodsecurity #workforce

SNAP and P-EBT provided crucial pandemic assistance to food-insecure families – andmore needs to be done

June 1, 2021 – General – COVID-19, Food Security

Data from a MassINC Polling Group Survey of 10,000 Massachusetts households reveal 47 percent of families reported some level of food insecurity and many did not receive SNAP benefits when their incomes suggest they could have. Food Research and Action Center analysts note that “these findings underscore the importance of public education, outreach, and application assistance to connect more eligible families to both of these programs and other key public benefits.” The most common barriers for families receiving SNAP benefits were lack of awareness of eligibility or not knowing how to apply to the program.#covid-19 #foodsecurity

Food insecurity fell nearly 30 percent between spring 2020 and 2021

May 26, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Food Security

By April 2021, about 1 in 7 U.S. adults reported experiencing food insecurity, down from over 1 in 5 during the first few weeks of the pandemic. Despite this promising data, food insecurity remains high for adults identifying as Hispanic or Latinx, with over 1 in 4 adults reporting food insecurity. In contrast, the rate of food insecurity among white adults declined more than any other racial group. Urban Institute authors suggest the decrease in unemployment, expansion of SNAP benefits, broader access to school meal programs for children, and increased ease of accessing all qualifying benefits for families may have played a role in increasing resources for food, while stimulus checks and other pandemic aid also helped families meet their basic needs. #covid-19 #foodsecurity