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 Census Bureau survey tracks household food insecurity, income losses

May 20, 2020 – Families

The U.S. Census Bureau has developed a weekly Household Pulse Survey to provide timely statistics on families during the pandemic. Results were recently released for the first period (April 23-May 5), although the response rate was not ideal. They found that 47 percent of adults reported that an adult in their household had lost employment income since March 13. Regarding food insecurity, they found that 10 percent of adults reported not getting enough food some of the time or often, while another 32 percent got enough food but not the kinds of food needed. Other findings pertaining to mental well-being, housing, health care, and remote learning are included. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #mentalhealth #workforce

SNAP is responding quickly to increased need

May 20, 2020 – Families

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds unprecedented increases in SNAP participation, specifically “2 million (14 percent) more people accessing benefits between February and April in the 17 states that have posted such data.” This increase is far more drastic than during the Great Recession, when increases over two-month periods did not exceed 4 percent. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

Immigrant families avoid public benefits for fear of being denied residency

May 18, 2020 – Families

New research from the Urban Institute finds that in 2019, more eligible immigrant families were avoiding public benefits due to fears about immigration consequences. The new public charge rule broadens the basis for which an applicant for permanent residency could be denied based on the use of public benefit programs. Although this rule officially took effect in February 2020, this study finds that even as of December 2019, confusion around the proposed rule led 15.6 percent of immigrant families to avoid government programs (such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or housing subsidies). Among low-income adults in immigrant families, 26.2 percent reported avoiding government programs. Foregoing important benefits is especially troublesome in the COVID-19 context, as low-income immigrant families, who are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19, may also be left without safety net programs. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

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