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.


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

Local leaders disseminate protective equipment in communities of color

July 10, 2020 – Families

Minnesota Public Radio reports on grassroots action unfolding in communities of color across the nation. Focusing on minority neighborhoods, local firefighters, community health workers, and volunteers have been going door to door with bags of masks, hand sanitizer, and public health information to directly address the disparate impact of the pandemic on Black and Latinx communities. Key to these efforts are the liaisons who are from the community, rather than the government, who serve as trusted resources for their neighbors. However, both leaders and residents acknowledge that these acute efforts are insufficient for addressing the structural issues, like poor housing and inadequate food, that have fostered caseload disparities. #racialequity #covid-19

Maine Data Glimpse: Pandemic Unemployment

July 8, 2020 – Families

This report from the Carsey School of Public Policy provides updates on Maine’s unemployment situation through mid-June, drawing on new data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on June 19, 2020, showing how Maine has compared to the rest of New England and the nation. #covid-19 #workforce

23.5 million workers with young children do not have a possible caregiver at home

July 8, 2020 – Families

As reopening schools and child care programs this fall looks more challenging amid rising COVID-19 cases, a Brookings analyst estimated the impact this might have on working parents. Forty-one million workers have at least one child under age 18, comprising nearly one-third of the national workforce. Working parents with children under age 14 account for over one-quarter of the workforce, or 33.5 million workers. Of these working parents with young children, the majority—70 percent or 23.5 million workers—do not have any available caregivers at home. Likely the ability of these parents to continue working or return to work will depend on schools and child care programs reopening. #education #workforce #covid-19

Less than 1 percent of PPP loans went to non-white owned businesses in New Hampshire

July 8, 2020 – Families

The Union Leader reports that out of the 23,000 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to small businesses in New Hampshire, fewer than 200 of these loans went to businesses identifying as non-white owned. This accounts for less than one percent of all PPP loans in the state. Only five loans went to Blackowned businesses. The president of the Seacoast Area NAACP, Rogers Johnson, noted that inadequate access to information and resources were barriers to participation in the program for many underrepresented residents. #racialequity #covid-19

North Carolina schools take advantage of USDA waivers to meet summer meals demands

July 8, 2020 – Young Children, Older Youth

The Spotlight on Poverty & Opportunity blog highlights innovative efforts in North Carolina to provide school meals to students over the summer. North Carolina schools have taken advantage of the many pandemic-induced USDA waivers that normally restrict how summer meals can be offered. For example, now meals can be delivered to students, rather than eaten in a congregate setting. Programs may also deliver more than one meal at a time, so these North Carolina schools are intentionally aiming to increase efficiency—and save money—by maximizing the number of meals in each round of deliveries. Additionally, schools have used buses as key transportation for delivering meals, filling staffing gaps with volunteers. #foodsecurity #covid-19

How to establish an emergency cash assistance program—lessons from the field

July 7, 2020 – Families

New America partnered with the National Domestic Workers Alliance to summarize lessons learned in establishing an emergency cash assistance program during the pandemic. This program focuses on those often excluded from traditional safety nets, like gig workers and workers in families with mixed immigration statuses. The report provides guidance on how to establishing a cash assistance program and also describes the benefits and challenges of various approaches, with the goal of supporting state and local development of similar efforts. #workforce #covid-19

New Hampshire fund to support self-employed workers

July 6, 2020 – Families

The NH Business Review reports that the state is beginning to accept applications to the new self-employed assistance fund. The fund, called the New Hampshire Self Employed Livelihood Fund (SELF), is expected to provide onetime grants to self-employed business owners of up to $50,000 to cover pandemic-related losses. The program is funded by remaining funds in the state’s Main Street Relief Program. #workforce #covid-19

Social isolation has its own negative health impacts for older adults

July 6, 2020 – Seniors

Staying home and practicing social distancing are important ways for older adults to reduce their risk of COVID-19 exposure. However, following these guidelines means many older adults are now more isolated and inactive, creating new health risks. Experiencing loneliness and feeling isolated were challenges for nearly a quarter of older adults even before the pandemic and are associated with higher rates of chronic diseases and psychiatric disorders. Texas A&M researchers outline strategies that older adults can employ to stay connected and active, including continuing physical activity, reaching out to others via phone, accepting help from individuals and organizations, and planning out their days to provide structure. #covid-19 #mentalhealth

Huge surge of COVID-19 cases in Sun Belt impacts much different demographics than in original hotspots

July 2, 2020 – Families

A new article from Brookings explores the demographics of the new wave of COVID-19 cases as of June 28 in the “Sun Belt”—a region spanning the South and West of the nation. The states with the largest increases in cases are Florida, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina, and South Carolina. At the same time, the greatest decreases in new cases are seen in some of the original hotspots like New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and Massachusetts. The demographics of the Sun Belt region are considerably different from the metropolitan hotspots that were hit hard earlier. Notably, Sun Belt cases extend into outer suburban, smaller, and nonmetropolitan (rural) counties, although also reaching urban and inner suburban counties near Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Orlando, and Tampa. The Sun Belt surge is also impacting more ‘red’ counties that supported Trump, while previously many of the hotspots were in ‘blue’ counties. #rural #covid-19

New research shows impacts COVID-19 outbreaks in prisons and jails have on the surrounding community

July 1, 2020 – Families

Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline reports on new research regarding the impact that COVID-19 cases in prisons and jails have on community spread. A new modeling study—conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union with researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Washington State University, and the University of Tennessee—estimated that community COVID-19 spread from infections beginning in prisons and jails could result in between 99,000– 188,000 additional coronavirus deaths. The article notes that a recent peer-reviewed study in Health Affairs also supports this finding. That study found that people cycling through Cook County Jail in Illinois were associated with 15.9 percent of Chicago’s COVID-19 cases as of late April. #covid-19

Rural Pennsylvania hospital pivots to respond to the pandemic

July 1, 2020 – Families, Seniors

Butler Memorial Hospital in Butler, Pennsylvania is home to the Regional Alliance Chronic Disease Coordination and Management (RACDCM) Program. The program supports patients age 45 and older who have at least two chronic diseases by providing chronic disease management resources. At the beginning of the pandemic, the RACDCM Program switched to a telehealth model. This transition was eased by previous telehealth experience. In order to reach patients in rural areas without internet access, they are adding dial-in options so patients may join sessions by phone. The RACDCM Program team has focused on supporting patients at home to avoid hospital visits for chronic condition care; the hospital reports overall lower hospital visits, including from those with chronic conditions. #covid-19 #rural