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  • Writer's pictureEpiscopal Charities

Weekly Resource Round-Up: June 20, 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.

EC Asylum Seekers Crisis Survey

This survey is intended to gather information for EC and the Diocese regarding the current Migrant Crisis. Please answer to the best of your ability and feel free to use estimates if you don't have exact numbers. If you have a question, feel free to let me know. The survey is linked here.

Mayor Adams Ends 90-Day Rule for all Populations, Expands Eligibility to City-Funded Rental Assistance for all New Yorkers in Shelter (The Office of the Mayor)

"NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today issued emergency rules eliminating the 90-day length-of-stay requirement for New Yorkers in shelter to be eligible for City Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (CityFHEPS) housing vouchers — the largest city-funded rental assistance program in the nation — vastly expanding the number of New Yorkers in shelter who will now be able to access city-funded rental assistance. Effective immediately, families as well as individuals in shelter will have expanded access to city-funded rental assistance and expedited connections to permanent housing. With New York City continuing to manage the unprecedented asylum seeker crisis largely on its own, this emergency rule will build on progress to quickly move New Yorkers out of shelter and into permanent housing." Read more here.

Adams nixes ‘90-day rule’ for homeless New Yorkers – setting up possible veto of housing voucher expansion (City & State NY)

"New York City Mayor Eric Adams took a big step this week towards getting more homeless New Yorkers into permanent housing more quickly. But it’s not as big of a step as the City Council would like to take.

On Friday morning, Adams issued an emergency rule change that eliminates the longstanding rule requiring people to stay in the shelter system for 90 days before becoming eligible for CityFHEPS rental assistance vouchers. It’s a step that housing advocates have long called for. “There are many rivers that feed the sea of homelessness,” Adams said. “Today, we’re damming one.” According to the language in the rule change, the 90-day rule will be suspended for 60 days while the administration works on a permanent elimination of the rule." 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 Bank for New York City Receives $450K From New York’s Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation to Launch ‘Food as Medicine’ Program (Businesswire)

"NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of its ongoing work to address food insecurity in New York, the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation announced today a $450,000 grant for the Food Bank For New York City to launch a ‘Food as Medicine’ program. This initiative will support Food Bank For New York City’s work to screen patients for food insecurity during healthcare visits and connect them to on-site food assistance resources at healthcare facilities, community-based food pantries, and meal programs.

The ‘Food as Medicine’ program, a Feeding America® initiative funded by the Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation, aims to screen between 2,000 and 3,000 patients over the next three years with the goal of improving food security and health outcomes. This phase of the program will help Food Bank For New York City and Empire BlueCross BlueShield enhance data collection, sharing, and analysis to better understand the needs of people facing hunger and deliver effective solutions." Read more here.

Mothers Help Each Other Through Stories of Migration and Sewing (Documented)

"At the Queens Library in Corona, a group of 16 migrant mothers sit around oval tables. They each have a piece of cloth in their hands, where, with precise dexterity, they puncture it with a needle, feed the thread through, and pull the needle to knot it tight. They are stitching the wings of butterflies.

The group, Comadres Bordadoras, comes together every Monday at noon to sew servilletas, traditional Mexican cloth napkins used to wrap tortillas, while offering a safe space where the mothers can discuss the topics of family, migration, and mental health. The members say their goal is to support the immigrant experience of mothers by weaving the cultural craft with their unique stories of migration." Read more here.

Are We Near the End of Food Inflation? (Food Institute)

"Food price inflation has been a constant thorn over the past few years, but are we about to turn the corner toward greener pastures? Wells Fargo Chief Agricultural Economist Dr. Michael Swanson returned to The Food Institute Podcast to discuss emerging trends in food inflation and the changing dynamics between eating at home and eating out. We also discuss agricultural impacts stemming from both drought and increased rainfall in different parts of the country." Listen here.

Mayor Adams, NYC Faith Leaders Launch Faith-Based Shelter Program for Houses of Worship to Support Asylum Seeker Response (Office of the Mayor)

"NEW YORK – As New York City continues to care for more than 46,000 asylum seekers, New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced the creation of a faith-based shelter program — a new, two-year partnership with New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS) that will allow up to 50 houses of worship or faith-based spaces to offer overnight shelter for up to 19 single adult men at each location. To provide programming and support for asylum seekers during the day — while these faith-based spaces continue to offer their normal activities — the city will also open five daytime centers. Faith-based partnerships have played a critical role in the city’s response to the asylum seeker humanitarian crisis, and, at full scale, this program will host nearly 1,000 asylum seekers, with potential for further expansion." 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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