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.

 

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

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

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

Low-income immigrant families continue to avoid safety net programs in 2020 despite severe pandemic-related impacts

May 26, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Food Security, Racial Equity

The Urban Institute conducted their Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey in December 2020 to evaluate the economic impact of the pandemic on lowincome families with different citizenship statuses. They split their sample into three categories: adults in families with naturalized citizens, adults in families with green card holders, and adults in families with nonpermanent residents. The findings revealed many low-income immigrant families reported loss of employment, food insecurity, and difficulty paying expenses. More than half were worried about affording their basic needs for the month. Yet amid this hardship, more than 25 percent of families did not seek government benefits for fear that it would jeopardize their immigration status or that they would be ineligible under the “public charge” rule. To address this disparity, the Urban Institute recommends that federal, state, and local organizations clarify communication around the public charge rule and other eligibility requirements, and that agencies and policymakers address administrate and logistical barriers to accessing benefits (e.g., language barriers). #covid-19 #racialequity #foodsecurity

American Rescue Plan Act enhances food assistance in response to high food hardship

March 29, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Food Security, Maine

A new report authored by prominent food scholars details the investments and expansions to food assistance programs included in the American Rescue Plan Act. Some of the major components include allowing states to continue the Pandemic-EBT program over the summer, extending the SNAP benefit increase, increased funding to states for the administrative costs of higher SNAP demand, investment in improving the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and targeted support for Puerto Rico and select U.S. territories. The temporary 15 percent SNAP maximum benefit increase, which was set to end June 30, has been extended through September 2021. This extension will impact an estimated 154,000 SNAP participants in Maine, and Maine will receive an additional $3.9 million for addressing increased SNAP state administrative expenses for fiscal years 2021-2023. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #Maine

Tracking the COVID-19 Recession’s Effects on Food, Housing, and Employment Hardships

March 29, 2021 – General –

Joblessness remains high and millions report that their households did not get enough to eat or are not caught up on rent payments. CBPP has been able to track the extent of this hardship thanks to nearly real-time data from several sources on the unfolding economic crisis. The impacts of the pandemic and the economic fallout have been widespread, but are particularly prevalent among Black, Latino, Indigenous, and immigrant households. These disproportionate impacts reflect harsh, longstanding inequities — often stemming from structural racism — in education, employment, housing, and health care that the current crisis is exacerbating. The American Rescue Plan Act, is projected to dramatically begin reducing poverty and narrowing disparities by race. Any reduction in hardship, particularly among children, would be a hopeful step for the country. Households with children face especially high hardship rates and considerable evidence suggests that reducing childhood hardship and poverty would yield improvements in education and health, higher productivity and earnings, less incarceration, and other lasting benefits to children and society. #covid-19 #economy #housing #foodsecurity #racialequity #edcuation

Charitable Food Use Increased Nearly 50 Percent from 2019 to 2020

March 16, 2021 – General –

In this brief, Urban Institute uses data from the December 2020 round of the Urban Institute’s Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey (WBNS), a nationally representative survey of more than 7,500 adults ages 18 to 64, to examine charitable food use (defined as the use of free groceries or free meals) this past year compared with use in 2019 as well as how use of assistance in 2020 varies across demographic groups. Findings include adults’ reported household use of charitable food in the past 12 months grew almost 50 percent between December 2019 and December 2020 and adults who identify as Black or Hispanic/Latinx were almost three times more likely than white adults to report accessing charitable food during 2020. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #racialequity

How states can use new Pandemic Emergency Assistance funds to support low-income families

March 11, 2021 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Food Security

The American Rescue Plan Act designated $1 billion for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program through a Pandemic Emergency Assistance fund. States will have some flexibility on how they use Pandemic Emergency Assistance funds, as long as the funding is used for non-recurrent benefits for no more than four months. In particular, this means that states cannot use these funds for regular monthly TANF benefits. A Center on Budget and Policy Priorities policy expert details four ways that states could use these funds to support low-income families. Perhaps most straightforward, states could provide a one-time extra cash payment to TANF families. The other three strategies intend to reach families who are not currently connected to TANF, including a one-time cash payment to low-income SNAP households with children; a new worker-relief fund for short-term payments to replace lost income; or funds for families ineligible for other programs but experiencing crises like rental arrears. #covid-19 #foodsecurity