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.


Taking exams at end of SNAP month linked to lower college admission exam results

January 21, 2021 – Older YouthEducation, Food Security

Economic researchers analyzed how the monthly timing of SNAP benefit receipt impacted low-income high school students’ test scores on a college admission exam. Using state-by-state variation in SNAP benefit cycles, they found that the timing of benefits does have an impact on exam performance. Students taking the college admissions exam in the last two weeks of the SNAP benefit cycle— when household food availability tends to be more limited—was associated with lower test scores and a lower probability of enrolling in a four-year college. These findings on the connection between nutrition and student achievement highlight how immediate resource insufficiencies can influence student life course trajectories. #education #foodsecurity

More Comprehensive State Guidance Can Support the Whole Child during COVID-19

January 14, 2021 – Older YouthCOVID-19, Education, Food Security, Mental Health

As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, students continue to face significant challenges to their mental and physical health. In an April 2020 survey from Active Minds, 60 percent of high school students reported that their mental health has worsened during the pandemic. Pandemic-related school closures have also caused many students to lose access to necessary school-based health services. Students with disabilities and special health care needs, who may heavily rely on services typically provided at school, are even more likely to experience disruptions to needed health care as a result of COVID-19. Further, many students are no longer receiving crucial school nutrition services. Among households with children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals, only 15 percent regularly receive school meals during COVID-19 school closures. As districts work to address these challenges while simultaneously grappling with difficult reopening decisions, many are looking to state education agencies for guidance. The challenges students face during COVID-19 demand thoughtful coordination between education and health agencies. A coordinated approach to school health that incorporates all facets of student well-being is critical for states looking to provide districts with holistic guidance for supporting students across a range of physical and mental health needs. All states have released recommendations for reopening schools, many of which address various aspects of student health and well-being. However, these recommendations include gaps in both the comprehensiveness and specificity of guidance with respect to how schools should support the whole child during the pandemic. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #mentalhealth #education

School meal delivery offers teachers difficult glimpse into students’ living arrangements

January 3, 2021 – Older YouthCOVID-19, Education, Food Security

An article from USA Today documents a sobering side effect to school systems’ conversion to school meal drop off models in the pandemic: often for the first time, school staff and educators saw firsthand their students’ living conditions. While teachers delivering meals in rural Illinois were shocked and troubled to find students living without indoor plumbing, electricity, and windows, they also found that seeing students’ home lives prepared them to better support those learners. In addition, parents noted that seeing school staff during meal drop-off provided a sense of “normalcy” amid the upheaval of the pandemic. #covid-19 #education #foodsecurity

Forty Percent of Black and Hispanic Parents of School-Age Children Are Food Insecure

December 8, 2020 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Food Security

As the recession persists and the White House and Congress have failed to agree on additional economic relief, families with school-age children also face uncertainty around in-person school attendance and access to school meals. In this brief, we use data from the most recent wave of the Coronavirus Tracking Survey, a nationally representative survey of nonelderly adults conducted September 11–28, 2020, to examine food insecurity among families with school-age children six months into the pandemic. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Six Months into the Pandemic, 40 Percent of Parents with Young Children Have Experienced Economic Fallout

December 8, 2020 – FamiliesCOVID-19, Food Security

Although the profound health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are prompting new questions about how families with young children may be affected, there has been limited attention to the specific ways that safety net policies and pandemic relief programs can be leveraged to buffer the pandemic’s adverse consequences for the youngest members of US society. As a result, opportunities have been missed to reduce harm among families with young children. In this brief, we use data from the most recent wave of the Coronavirus Tracking Survey, a nationally representative survey of nonelderly adults conducted September 11–28, 2020, to assess food insecurity and other key indicators of material hardship and well-being among families with young children. We find the following: Four in 10 parents (40.3 percent) living with a child under age 6 reported they or their family experienced a loss of employment or work-related income during the first six months of the pandemic, and this economic turbulence can make it difficult for families to meet basic needs at a sensitive point in early child development. #covid-19 #foodsecurity