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 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.


Mini Pantry Movement

May 10, 2020 – General

A grassroots initiative called Little Free Pantry is a network of small food pantry boxes in neighborhoods created and maintained by community members. Operating much like neighborhood free library boxes, these pantries have a ‘take what you want, leave what you want’ policy. Their website has a searchable U.S. map to find the closest mini pantry to you. To join the movement, volunteers can simply create a box, put it up in their community, and register it online. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Food insecurity has risen during pandemic

May 6, 2020 – Families

New research from the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project finds that food insecurity has skyrocketed amid the pandemic. In a survey of mothers with children under age 12, 17.4 percent reported that since the pandemic, “the children in my household were not eating enough because we just couldn’t afford enough food,” and 3.4 percent reported that this was “often” the case. In 2018, just 3.1 percent of mothers reported children not eating enough, representing a more than five-fold increase. (Related research highlights the disproportionately high rates of pandemic food insecurity for people of color: #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Higher shares of job or income losses for low-income, Hispanic adults

April 28, 2020 – Families

The Urban Institute reports the results of their nationally representative survey of adults ages 18-64 conducted between March 25 and April 10, 2020. They found that 41.5 percent of nonelderly adults were in families where someone had lost a job, work hours, or work-related income due to the coronavirus pandemic. When these data were stratified by family income and race/ethnicity, authors found that shares of adults 18-64 whose families suffered job or income losses were especially high for those who are low-income (at 51.1 percent) and for those identifying as Hispanic (at 56.9 percent). Additionally, one-third of adults 18-64 reported that they experienced serious material hardships such as not being able to pay rent, mortgage, or utility bills; food insecurity; or forgoing medical care due to cost in the last 30 days. #covid-19 #workforce #foodsecurity

NH Food Bank: Rise in need puts strain on food pantries around the state

April 25, 2020 – Families

Food banks and food pantries around New Hampshire are seeing significant increases in demand. In order to keep up needs and distribute food across the state, food banks are leveraging existing networks. Manchester’s soup kitchen is adapting to offer a new food delivery service. Meals 4 Kids is not only giving food to families whose children aren’t able to receive school meals but are also putting on mobile farmers markets for all. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

California effort will employ restaurant workers to provide meals for seniors amid coronavirus crisis

April 24, 2020 – Seniors

California governor Gavin Newsom has announced a new statewide program to ensure hungry seniors receive three meals a day. The federally funded program will be organized by local officials coordinating with laid-off restaurant workers to prepare and deliver food to seniors. Governor Newsom said, “It’s not just about the meals… it’s about a human connection, about someone just checking in as they’re delivering those meals and making sure people are OK.” #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Public Housing Authorities leveraging partnerships to provide local food access

April 24, 2020 – Families

Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) are going beyond providing affordable housing to also ensure that families have sufficient food. Even small PHAs have leveraged local partnerships and their connection to families to respond to food needs. For example, BangorHousing in Maine was able to draw on their existing partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Bangor to serve meals and deliver pantry bags to families in need. The Fort Wayne Housing Authority in Indiana is working with Meals on Wheels and a local food bank to provide meals to seniors. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #housing

School district responses to the COVID-19 pandemic: Round 2, districts are up and running

April 15, 2020 – General

New survey results from the second wave of the American Enterprise Institute’s COVID-19 Education Response Longitudinal Survey (C-ERLS) reveal the dramatic shift in school district actions over just an 11-day period. This nationally representative survey of public school districts showed that the percentage of schools with remote instructional programs increased from 43% on March 27 to 71% by April 7, 2020. The full report also details that by April 7, the majority of schools—68%—had daily meal pickups organized on school sites and 66% had some kind of technology assistance available to families. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #education

Brookings: Farmers markets are vital during COVID-19, but they need more support

April 8, 2020 – General

Farmers markets can be key to helping low-income individuals access healthy food, but they need federal, state, and local commitment to allow them to remain open and safe as essential services amid the #COVID-19 pandemic, Brookings argues. In Maine, Governor Mills proclaimed Farmers Markets as essential businesses and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has released new Covid-related guidelines. #foodsecurity

Temporary SNAP Benefit Bump a No-Brainer for More Economic Stimulus

April 8, 2020 – Families

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities suggests that SNAP benefits are an effective economic stimulus that policymakers can use again during this economic crisis due to coronavirus. Not only does it support low-income families, but these families generally spend benefits soon after receipt, so the money flows into the economy quickly. The author recommends a 15 percent increase in the maximum SNAP allotment, which can be implemented right away. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Most Americans on food stamps must shop at stores, risking coronavirus exposure

April 7, 2020 – Families

Most people receiving SNAP benefits are not able to use them for online shopping, and therefore must go to a store in person. Leaving the home puts these low-income folks at an increased risk for exposure to coronavirus. Despite logistical challenges, changing SNAP rules to allow for online and delivery options as some states have already done is a promising solution. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Grocery service offered to older Vermonters

April 6, 2020 – Seniors

Several communities are leveraging volunteer networks to provide grocery and supply shopping services to older residents or residents with disabilities during coronavirus outbreak. In Bennington, Vermont, one such effort is coordinated by the Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging, and in Swanzey, New Hampshire, a local youth professional network and rugby club have partnered as volunteers. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

SWCAP’s Pop-Up Food Pantry hits the road

March 30, 2020 – Families

In rural Wisconsin, a Community Action Program has created a pop-up food pantry to support residents who are isolating, struggling with food costs, or cannot reach a traditional pantry during the coronavirus pandemic. The mobile unit is a bus (donated by Head Start), outfitted with refrigerators and shelves (donated by a local foundation and several businesses). The bus has been traversing the county since the end of March, dropping off pre-boxed foods at seniors’ residences without face-to-face contact. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #rural