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.


Maine Data Glimpse: July 2020 Unemployment

September 9, 2020 – Families

This Data Glimpse describes Maine’s unemployment situation in July, drawing on new data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on August 21, 2020. For the most timely indicator— weekly initial unemployment insurance claims—data are available for Maine through August 15, 2020.

Federal policies to support neighborhood opportunity and inclusion for families

September 9, 2020 – Families

The Urban Institute’s Opportunity for All project recently published a series of briefs on improving opportunity and inclusion in neighborhoods to promote the well-being of families and their children. In the brief “Creating Places of Opportunity for All,” experts and community leaders use a place-based framework to present federal policy strategies for addressing the equity gaps that racist policies have created and perpetuated. In particular, authors call for policy changes to address racial and income segregation such as investing in assts in distressed neighborhoods, preserving affordable housing, preventing displacement brought on by revitalization or market pressures, and removing barriers to expand access to well-resourced neighborhoods. #racialequity

Immigrant-owned food startups get creative to stay afloat during the pandemic

September 8, 2020 – Families

A new article from nonprofit news organization Civil Eats explores the effects of the pandemic on immigrant-led food startups, many of whom are small businesses selling culinarily diverse frozen or prepared foods, building meal kits, or catering. During the pandemic, sell foods to school districts for school meals programs or to food relief programs has been a viable option for some food start ups. For example, after campus closures interrupted a deal between start up Meal Mantra and Boston College to provide curries for their cafeteria menu, the startup was able to sell some of their already-produced curries at cost to the city of Boston’s food relief program. Other entrepreneurs echoed the sentiment to figure out where the sales are and focus on staying afloat during these challenging times. #covid-19 #workforce

New food relief initiative in Vermont successful in supporting rural communities

September 8, 2020 – Families

In early August, Vermont started a food relief initiative called Vermont Everyone Eats! which pays local restaurants to supply meals to residents in need. Volunteers help hand out meals to those in need, who line up at drive-through style distribution sites. The program was first rolled out in the town of Brattleboro, where about 650 meals are provided per day. The program was started using CARES Act funds and they are considering expanding to other rural communities. Ten percent of the food that restaurants prepare must be from local farms, which helps support those businesses as well. #covid-19 #foodsecurity #rural

New Hampshire farmers markets plan how to continue business through the winter

September 7, 2020 – Families

As colder weather approaches, farmers market organizers consider how to continue operating warmly and safely. The New Hampshire Business Review reports that many of the small venders rely heavily on the markets and might not be able to stay in business through the winter without them. Outdoor farmers markets have been relatively easy to adapt to COVID-19 regulations, but the indoor winter markets will need to reduce capacity and vendors to allow space for social distancing. Further, some of the usual locations for winter markets, such as schools, are not currently allowing non-essential guests. Some market operators, such as New Hampshire’s Seacoast Eat Local, will host indoor winter farmers markets at its regular venues but will limit capacity to 50 percent. Another proposed alternative is to expand existing mobile markets during the winter. #covid-19 #workforce #foodsecurity

Persistent labor market challenges spell trouble for disadvantaged households

September 4, 2020 – Families

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities finds that despite positive job growth in the past several months, the “jobs hole” from March and April has not been repaired. State and local government job losses (including in education) account for about 10% of these losses, while broader losses are clustered among workers in low-wage industries and without a bachelor’s degree. The pandemic has also exacerbated racial-ethnic gaps in unemployment by hitting hardest the industries in which workers of color are clustered. The report concludes by urging the federal government to further supplement unemployment compensation for workers facing serious and enduring hardship. #covid-19 #workforce #racialequity

Federal Reserve of Boston finds unemployment worse than in Great Recession

September 3, 2020 – Families

New research from the Federal Reserve Bank compares pandemic-era initial and continued unemployment claims for the U.S. and New England with those from the Great Recession. The authors find that the level of initial claims in the pandemic had exceeded those in the entire 79-week-long Great Recession in just 12 weeks (that is, by May 30) nationally, and in just 10 weeks in New England. Levels of continuing unemployment insurance claims are three to four times larger than in the Great Recession in New England. The research also found that women, younger workers, and those in personal care or food service occupations were more likely to file ongoing claims. #covid-19 #workforce

New report estimates pandemic effects on child care costs by state

September 3, 2020 – Young Children, Families

A new report from the Center for American Progress estimates the “true cost” of providing child care in the pandemic and compares it to pre-pandemic levels in each state. The report finds that the cost of center-based child care has increased by an average of 47% in the pandemic, largely due to high staff costs and increased sanitization requirements. Staff costs have remained level despite fewer children enrolled because most centers now require dedicated staff in each classroom, along with new health checks and drop-off procedures that require more staff time. Increases in Maine are relatively low compared to the national average, at just 19%. #covid-19 #childcare

New Hampshire Food Bank sees demand continue to increase during pandemic

September 1, 2020 – Families

The New Hampshire Food Bank reports that the weekly number of families seeking food has only continued to increase throughout the pandemic. At the beginning of the pandemic, around 200-250 families were served per week. Now that number has almost tripled to 500-600 families served per week. The NH Food Bank does not collect data on why families need food but the director of the organization notes that, anecdotally, she thinks the ending of the $600 unemployment insurance supplement July 31 and lack of additional stimulus payments has contributed to the increase. #covid-19 #foodsecurity

New Hampshire health officials release COVID-19 dashboard, guidance for schools

September 1, 2020 – Families

New Hampshire health officials have developed a new dashboard tracking COVID-19 cases in New Hampshire schools, including K-12 schools as well as colleges and universities. The dashboard was developed as a tool to help school officials monitor COVID-19 cases and make decisions about switching from inperson to remote learning. Guidance was also released to help school officials interpret the dashboard and the impact that levels of COVID-19 cases have on a school and on community transmission. #covid-19 #education

States with broadband funding program have better access

September 1, 2020 – Families

Rural researchers describe their new work on broadband policy in the Daily Yonder, focusing on how three specific policies—state funding for broadband, presence of a state broadband office, and restrictions on municipal or cooperative broadband provision—affect access. The authors find that state broadband funding is the only policy consistently associated with availability of high-speed internet and multiple internet options, particularly for rural places. This work is especially relevant in the context of telework and remote learning in the pandemic. #covid-19 #rural

Chicago Public Schools aim to support families with free child care

August 31, 2020 – Young Children, Families

The Chicago Sun Times reports that the Chicago Public School System is surveying families to identify specific family needs as they plan supervised dropoff sites for online learning. The city notes that it will prioritize care for younger children, children from low-income communities, and families in transitional housing situations, and will provide meals and internet access to participants. #covid-19 #childcare