Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit www.jtgfoundation.org/resources/covid-19 or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

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.

 

New food relief initiative in Vermont successful in supporting rural communities

September 8, 2020 – Families

In early August, Vermont started a food relief initiative called Vermont Everyone Eats! which pays local restaurants to supply meals to residents in need. Volunteers help hand out meals to those in need, who line up at drive-through style distribution sites. The program was first rolled out in the town of Brattleboro, where about 650 meals are provided per day. The program was started using CARES Act funds and they are considering expanding to other rural communities. Ten percent of the food that restaurants prepare must be from local farms, which helps support those businesses as well. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #rural

New Hampshire farmers markets plan how to continue business through the winter

September 7, 2020 – Families

As colder weather approaches, farmers market organizers consider how to continue operating warmly and safely. The New Hampshire Business Review reports that many of the small venders rely heavily on the markets and might not be able to stay in business through the winter without them. Outdoor farmers markets have been relatively easy to adapt to COVID-19 regulations, but the indoor winter markets will need to reduce capacity and vendors to allow space for social distancing. Further, some of the usual locations for winter markets, such as schools, are not currently allowing non-essential guests. Some market operators, such as New Hampshire’s Seacoast Eat Local, will host indoor winter farmers markets at its regular venues but will limit capacity to 50 percent. Another proposed alternative is to expand existing mobile markets during the winter. #covid-19 #workforce #foodsecurity

Dover New Hampshire schools to feed all Dover children this fall

September 1, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

The Dover school district has announced that under the USDA’s Seamless Summer Option program (with a new waiver just extended through December 31), the district will provide all children age 18 and under free breakfast and lunch. Children need not be enrolled in Dover schools, nor sign up in advance, to receive five breakfast/lunch combinations each week. Meals will be distributed by bus in eight locations around the city and reimbursed by USDA. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #education

New Hampshire Food Bank sees demand continue to increase during pandemic

September 1, 2020 – Families

The New Hampshire Food Bank reports that the weekly number of families seeking food has only continued to increase throughout the pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic, around 200-250 families were served per week. Now that number has almost tripled to 500-600 families served per week. The NH Food Bank does not collect data on why families need food but the director of the organization notes that, anecdotally, she thinks the ending of the $600 unemployment insurance supplement July 31 and lack of additional stimulus payments has contributed to the increase. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

State programs connecting farmers to food banks are mutually beneficial

August 28, 2020 – Families

Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline reports on innovative strategies farmers have used in order to stay in business during the pandemic. Farmers who usually supply food to restaurants saw sudden drops in sales as the pandemic prompted shutdowns in the spring. At the same time that farmers were left with an excess of unsold food, food banks were seeing massive increases in demand. About a dozen states, including California, were poised to address both of these challenges through state programs that pay farmers to give surplus produce to food banks. Many farmers would have gone out of business if not for these state programs. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Schools can opt into community eligibility provision and offset hardships for low-income families

August 19, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities draws attention to opportunities available to low-income school districts through the community eligibility provision. Districts that opt in by August 31 can provide free breakfast and lunch to all students—without having to process individual students’ applications—if at least 40 percent of students have been identified as eligible through SNAP or foster care. The provision is especially relevant now as the pandemic has increased SNAP caseloads. Further, because a new program flexibility allows districts to assess eligibility using data through June (when many families newly enrolled in SNAP), rather than April, as in usual years, these newly eligible families would be captured in community eligibility data. The provision not only expands access for in-person settings, but for students in districts doing some or all remote instruction, can also ease delivery of grab-and-go meals, and if extended, Pandemic EBT benefits. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

New York Fed documents pandemic’s disproportionate effects on households with children

August 13, 2020 – Families

Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York uses data from the Survey of Consumer Expectations to document hardship in the pandemic. The authors find that households with children were more likely to lose jobs and income, more likely to miss rent or debt payments, and more likely to experience food insufficiency. These households are more often reliant on safety net programs, like unemployment and SNAP, as well as informal supports from friends and family, than households without children. Households headed by single parents or parents of color record especially high levels of hardship. These findings accord with the emerging body of research on worse COVID-19- related hardship among families who faced disadvantage even before the pandemic. #covid-19 #racialequity #foodsecurity

Over one in four U.S. children live in households facing hardships from mid-June to midJuly

August 6, 2020 – Young Children

A Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey data from June 18 to July 21 reveals high hardship rates for children. Data from these five weeks were pooled together to improve the reliability of state-level estimates, given the more limited number of respondents to this timely survey. Nationally, the author found that over one in four children—nearly 19 million children—live in households that are behind on rent or mortgage payments, are not getting enough food to eat, or both. These rates are higher for households of color—42 percent for children in Black households and 36 percent for children in Latinx households. For Maine alone, an estimated 21 percent (+/- 4 percent) of children live in households that are behind on rent or mortgage payments and/or are not getting enough to eat. #covid-19 #racialequity #foodsecurity

During COVID-19 food insecurity among older adults increases by almost 60 percent

July 31, 2020 – Seniors

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) reports on an analysis from Northwestern University that compares food insecurity rates among older adults during the pandemic to rates in 2018. In 2018, 8.5 percent of older adults experienced food insecurity. Analysis of data from April 23 to June 16 shows the food insecurity rate among older adults was 13.5 percent, a 58.8 percent increase from the 2018 rate. Pre-existing racial and ethnic disparities in food insecurity rates were also exacerbated during the pandemic. The food insecurity rate for Black older adults during the pandemic was 23.0 percent and the rate was 24.3 percent for Latinx older adults of any race. The food insecurity rate for white older adults during the pandemic was less than half that, at 10.6 percent. Authors recommend boosting SNAP maximum and minimum benefits to leverage this existing program effective in supporting food security and stimulating the economy. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #racialequity

“More relief needed to alleviate hardship”

July 21, 2020 – Families

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities used Household Pulse Survey data and found urgent needs around housing and food for many households, but especially households containing children, people of color, and immigrants. The authors note that at the end of June, Black renters disproportionately reported being behind on rent, partly driven by disproportionate job losses among Black workers. The authors recommend sweeping policy interventions, including a 15 percent increase in SNAP allotments to all SNAP participants, increases for rental assistance and homelessness eservices, emergency grants to states for targeted family support, expansions of the EITC, and extension of unemployment compensation. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

New research finds dramatic increases in New England food assistance use in pandemic

July 20, 2020 – Young Children, Families

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has published new findings on applications for food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Massachusetts and Connecticut, the two New England states with data available. The authors find that SNAP applications track closely with spikes in initial unemployment claims in both states, indicating that SNAP continues to provide an immediate avenue for ameliorating nutrition risk, as it has in earlier recessions. The authors note that applications will likely increase when expanded unemployment insurance expires at the end of July, and heightened rates are likely to persist if economic recovery is slow to arrive. #foodsecurity #covid-19

17.7 percent of adults experienced food insecurity in their household in May

July 18, 2020 – Families

Urban Institute researchers used the May 14–27 Coronavirus Tracking Survey to study families experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic. Their findings are sobering: 17.7 percent of nonelderly adults reported that their household had experienced food insecurity in the past 30 days. For parents living with children in their household, 21.8 percent reported food insecurity during the past 30 days. Disparities in food insecurity by race and ethnicity are also very apparent: 27.1 percent of Latinx adults and 27.0 percent of Black adults reported that their households experienced food insecurity, compared with 13.5 percent for white adults’ households. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #racialequity