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  • Writer's pictureEpiscopal Charities

Weekly Resource Round-Up: July 18, 2023

This Week's Resources

If you have resources to share with our network, please contact Tobi Mojeed-Balogun our Associate Director of Programs Support.

NYS COVID and MonkeyPox Updates (Plus Info about the Flu, RSV, and Norovirus)

A lot of the news around mandates, vaccines and restrictions have been a little confusing so I will list some resources below that might help.

  • NYS Department of Health COVID website - It's a one stop shop with an info summary at the top. Link here.

  • Walgreens COVID Index - there's concerns about the accuracy of some COVID trackers but Wallgreens released one based on their tests. Link here.

  • NYC Department of Health Monkeypox Webpage - lots of information and resources about the virus with pictures of the rash included. Find the link here.

    • With Mpox at Risk of Flaring, Health Officials Advise, ‘Get Vaccinated’ - New York Times - Read here

  • COVID vs Flu vs RSV info - I found a good article from the Washington post that gives information about three viruses that have been spiking this winter. Read the article here.

  • The Time Magazine article on the new variant (XBB.1.5) - Link Here

  • Gothamist article on Norovirus, a stomach bug that is hitting the Northeast - Read more here.

Documented's Immigrant Resources and Job/Housing Discrimination Guides

"Documented has gathered all of the resources we can find to help immigrant New Yorkers. New links will be added and the following pages will be constantly updated. If you would like us to add information to this list or have questions, please reach out to us at"

"The New York City Human Rights Law is one of the most comprehensive anti-discrimination laws in the country, prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, religion/creed, age, national origin, immigration or citizenship status, gender (including sexual harassment), gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, military service, marital status and partnership status. As a newsroom that serves immigrant communities, Documented has written a comprehensive guide for immigrants."

New York State Announces Programs Available to Help Low-income Families and Veterans Access Healthy Foods (NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets)

"State Farmers’ Market Programs, Including Newly Expanded FreshConnect Checks Program, Support Access to Fresh Food Encourages Consumers to Visit Their Local Farmers’ Market this Summer and Shop Local

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that several programs are available to help low-income families, Veterans, Servicemembers, and older adults purchase fresh, healthy foods at local farmers’ markets through the Department’s Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) and FreshConnect Checks Program. New York State has over 700 farmers’ markets, farm stands, and mobile markets participating in the FMNP and FreshConnect Checks programs, supplying healthy homegrown foods to communities across the State."

Free Summer Meals for NYC Kids Until September 1 (The Morning Belly)

"This summer, every New Yorker aged 18 and under has access to healthy and nutritious food — no matter who they are or where they live.

Through the NYC Department of Education’s Free Summer Meals program, any young New Yorker who is 18 years old and under can get free, healthy, and nutritious breakfast and lunch this summer at designated public schools, community pool centers, parks, and food trucks across the five boroughs! Sites are typically open Monday through Friday for breakfast and lunch—no registration, documentation, or identification is necessary to receive free meals. Some sites, including our pool centers as well as our food trucks, also offer free summer meals during weekends, too."

Food Insecurity in US Reaches Its Highest Number Since December 2020 (Truthout)

"Back in March, as expanded pandemic-era Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits expired, food insecurity experts were concerned that the United States was racing towards a looming “hunger cliff.” Now, it seems that their predictions were correct, according to new data from the Census Bureau.

As the Alliance to End Hunger wrote in a June 30 email, “26.5 million Americans reported food insecurity as of June 19, according to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey — the most thus far in 2023 and the highest number since December 2020.”

Two New Giant Tent Shelters for Migrants Coming to Queens (The City)

"New York City officials are scrambling to open two new sprawling tent shelters for arriving asylum-seekers, both in Queens, THE CITY has learned.

The city greenlighted their construction this week, according to a source in Mayor Eric Adams’ administration. One is set to be located at the state-owned Creedmoor Psychiatric Center and the other at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Each is expected to house around 1,000 adults, and officials are aiming to open the tented structures in the next two to three weeks, the source said.

While the Aqueduct racetrack is located near the A train, Creedmoor is a 15-minute drive from the last stop on the F train."

Free ride: MTA to nix fares on 5 NYC bus routes by late September (Gothamist)

"Free rides are coming to five city bus routes by Sept. 24, the MTA said on Monday.

MTA officials said during a committee meeting that fares won’t be collected on one route in each of the five boroughs for at least six months as part of a program mandated by the state.

  • The B60, which runs in Brooklyn between Williams and Flatlands Avenue, in Canarsie, and Williamsburg Bridge Plaza.

  • The M116, which operates across Manhattan, primarily along 116th Street, Manhattan Avenue and W 106 Street.

  • The Q4 LCL/LTD, which runs in southeast Queens between Cambria Heights and Jamaica Center.

  • The S46/96, which runs in Staten Island between the St. George Ferry Terminal and West Shore Plaza.

  • The BX18 A/B, which runs in a loop in the western Bronx between Undercliff Avenue or Sedgwick Avenue and Grand Concourse"

Migrants Find Positive Opportunities To Volunteer, Explore in NYC (Documented)

"More than 81,000 asylum seekers have arrived in New York City since last spring, settling in all five boroughs. While migrants still face challenges living in the city shelters, some asylum seekers, like Ricardo, Diana, Reaño, and Fajardo — who said they had escaped violence and discrimination in their countries — told Documented that their lives have improved since arriving in the city. They added that they are grateful for a new start and have made efforts to give back to the community that welcomed them. Some have been able to secure jobs, enroll their children in schools, and work towards independence as they wait for their immigration cases to play out in court."

How ActionNYC Manages Free Legal Hotline for Immigrants (Documented)

"Immigrant advocates Documented spoke to recently shared concerns that the city-sponsored ActionNYC hotline frequently goes unanswered, leaving many asylum seekers unable to receive the assistance they need.

Documented spoke to the supervisor of the ActionNYC hotline, Elizabeta Markuci, Esq., to shed some light on the demand ActionNYC is seeing — from receiving under 100 calls per day, to over 200 calls now — and what they are doing to meet it. She told Documented that “on average, around 90%” of calls are still answered by ActionNYC, despite the high demand they have been seeing. At one point a few months ago, they had close to 300 calls a day, Markuci said.

Markuci is the Director of Hotline Services, Training and Policy Development for the immigrant and refugee services division of Catholic Charities Community Services." Read more here.

SNAP online ordering is now available nationwide (Grocery Dive)

"Alaska has become the final state to join the USDA’s SNAP online purchasing, making the e-commerce payment capability available nationwide, the federal department announced Friday.

“Expanding the diversity and reach of SNAP online shopping helps advance our goal of modernizing SNAP and providing better access to healthy, safe, affordable foods,” Stacy Dean, USDA deputy undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, said in a statement.

After the Agricultural Act of 2014 was signed into law in early that year, the federal government kicked off the SNAP online purchasing pilot mandated in that legislation in New York in 2019. The number of states approved by the USDA to participate in the pilot slowly grew until the start of the pandemic prompted an explosion of interest in making online grocery shopping more accessible to EBT participants." Read more here.

How Pantries Are Overcoming Obstacles to Client Choice (Food Bank News)

"Letting food pantry clients choose their own food is widely accepted as a dignified way to distribute charitable food. But for pantries that have always packed up bags, moving to that “client choice” model can be an intimidating prospect.

The dilemma is aptly summed up in a survey from December 2022, which showed that 56% of about 300 staff and volunteers at nearly 130 pantries thought it was “very important” to offer choice. But only 42% of them felt “very prepared” to do so. (NORC at the University of Chicago and More Than Food Consulting collaborated with Feeding America on the survey, which was funded by Morgan Stanley Foundation.)

Among the perceived obstacles:

  • 36% worried about having enough staff or volunteers

  • 34% thought they might not have enough space

  • 30% were concerned that client choice would mean unequal or unfair distribution

Despite such challenges, the first-hand experiences of those that have made the move suggest client choice offers ample benefits for staff, volunteers and patrons. Of pantries that increased their level of choice over a year, 79% reported an improvement in overall operations, according to the NORC and More Than Food Consulting researchers. Pantries also reported reduced food waste, increased satisfaction among staff and volunteers and an increased sense of dignity among patrons." Read more here.

Food Insufficiency During the COVID-19 Pandemic: New York State Trends 2020–2022 (NY Health Foundation)

"Rising hunger has been one of the many devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the onset, many New Yorkers lost employment, which limited their ability to afford food. School closures and social distancing measures also disrupted food access in schools, houses of worship, and other community settings. As a result, food insufficiency spiked in 2020.[1] Emergency government programs such as stimulus payments, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Emergency Allotments, universal free school meals, and the Child Tax Credit helped alleviate the problem in 2020 and 2021, but many of those programs have since ended.

This data brief examines household trends in food insufficiency in New York State from 2020 through 2022. The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insufficiency as a household sometimes or often not having enough to eat in the previous seven days.[2] During the pandemic, the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey was conducted on a near-real-time, biweekly basis to track food insufficiency.[3] Food insufficiency is both more severe and shorter-term than the commonly used measure of food insecurity. Food insecurity is defined as a household being unable to acquire adequate food because they had insufficient money and other resources for food, typically over a 12-month or 30-day period.[4] This brief explores trends in food insufficiency among New York State households and highlights differences between households with and without children, as well as differences by age, income, race, and ethnicity." Read more here.

Hudson Link Employer Toolkit

Our friends at Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison put together an employer toolkit for hiring formerly incarcerated people. Thank you to Sean Pica, Eldredge Blalock, Elisabeth Santiago, and the rest of the team at Hudson Link for this important resource. The toolkit can be found here. If you have any questions about hiring formerly incarcerated people, please contact Elisabeth Santiago from Hudson Link's Alumni Services at

Community Food Funders Newslink

Community Food Funders has opened up their newsletter to a wider audience (so not just food funders). "Each month, CFF compiles a newsletter with news, articles, reports, and events for those in our region interested in an equitable and sustainable food system." Highlights on this month's newsletter include:

  • Equity Advocates Workshop Series - Various Dates - Virtual - Equity Advocates hosts an annual series of policy workshops designed to build the advocacy capacity of community food leaders. Our virtual trainings are free & open to Food systems stakeholders in New York. The next training, on April 27, 2023 is: NYC Food Governance: Who Makes Food Policy Decisions at the City Level? Sign up for the virtual workshop here, and view the full list of workshops taking place through September on their website.

  • New York State Redistricting: the Good the Bad and the Ugly - June 7, 2023, 10-11AM -Virtual - New York Census Equity Fund (NYSCEF) awarded grants to advocacy groups, service organizations, and academic institutions throughout the State to make sure that traditionally underserved and overlooked communities of interest were able to: inform their constituents about how redistricting impacts their neighborhoods; show how mapping software could be used to draw alternative district line proposals; and strategically interact with the redistricting commission to share community concerns. In this webinar, funders can learn how NSYCEF helped increase public participation in the redistricting process, outcomes of the New York State redistricting process and updates on new developments, the importance of inclusive and informed civic engagement in census, redistricting, and voting, and why they all matter.

  • NY Healthy Food, Healthy Lives Match Program - This ioby match opportunity may be of interest to BIPOC-led organizations using grassroots fundraising approaches to support food justice work in New York State. For approved participants, donors are matched up to $1,000 and projects may access up to $5,000 in matching, until the program ends. Learn about eligibility requirements and share your idea.

  • Dyson Foundation Mini-Grant Program - The Dyson Foundation’s mini-grant program funds capacity-building projects that improve a nonprofit’s administrative, governance, or programmatic functions. Mini-grants enable nonprofit board, staff, and volunteer leaders to develop new skills through specific consultant-led capacity-building activities, or through conferences, seminars, and other relevant training opportunities. Mini-grants are available to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and libraries in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Grants are available on a rolling basis.

I will continue to include highlights from each month's newsletter on our weekly resource round-ups but if you would like to subscribe yourself, the link is here. The link to last month's newsletter is here and their archive is here.


That's all for this week -- thanks for all you do!



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