Weekly Resource Round-Up: June 6, 2023
This Week's Resources
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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.
Mayor Adams names new deputy mayor to handle youth employment, food policy initiatives (Gothamist)
"Mayor Eric Adams on Friday named Ana Almanzar, a nonprofit health executive, as the new deputy mayor of strategic initiatives.
Almanzar joins four fellow women deputy mayors in the administration. She is the first deputy mayor of Latino heritage appointed by Adams.
She will handle several of Adams’ key programs, including youth employment and food policy. Her portfolio also includes working with officials from CUNY." Read more 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.
Inflation Is Falling. So Why Aren’t Food Prices? (Wall Street Journal)
"A.M. Edition for May 26. The global food crisis is worsening, as a double-digit surge in food costs across Europe hits household incomes. WSJ reporters Paul Hannon and Jaewon Kang explain why prices are soaring and what governments are doing to tackle the issue. Plus, the White House and Republicans draw closer to an agreement to raise the debt limit. And Tesla and Ford team up in an EV-charging deal. Luke Vargas hosts." Listen or read the podcast here.
Frugal Frannie Finds Surprising UWS Grocery Inflation Data (West Side Rag)
"“Inflation is a state of mind,” said my pal Spendthrift Sammy, claiming his weekly grocery tab has remained largely the same for years. “It’s fake news to scare people.”
Oh, I relished my rebuttal. “The April 2023 Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers shows a 7.1% year-over-year jump for the ‘food at home’ category. Global food companies have admitted jacking prices. My food bills are way up. All balderdash?”
He didn’t budge. My confidence wavered. Did I have the facts to back up my feelings?
Given it’s been nearly 11 months since I did an apples-to-apples comparison of UWS grocery prices for WSR, I headed out on Saturday, May 27, visiting eight stores and two online purveyors to shop for the same market basket of 20 items:" Read more here.
What we know about the health risks of ultra-processed foods (NPR)
"Welcome to the world of ultra-processed foods – edible products made from manufactured ingredients that have been extracted from foods, processed, then reassembled to create shelf-stable, tasty and convenient meals.
"These are foods that are industrial creations," says Allison Sylvetsky, an associate professor in the department of exercise and nutrition at the George Washington Milken Institute School of Public Health.
The category includes everything from cookies and sodas to jarred sauces, cereals, packaged breads and frozen meals, even ice creams. You might not realize you're eating one, but look close and you'll see many ingredients you wouldn't find in your kitchen – think bulking agents, hydrolyzed protein isolates, color stabilizers, humectants." Read more here.
NYC Needs $70M for Legal Help for Asylum Seekers (Documented)
"City Councilmember Shahana Hanif, City Comptroller Brad Lander led a rally in City Hall Park on Thursday morning to demand that the New York City government administration allocate “at least $70 million” for legal services for asylum seekers. Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Immigrant rights advocacy groups — Immigrant Arc, Make The Road NY, Win, New York Immigration Coalition, and others — were there to support their effort.
The city administration will decide by June 30 whether the adopted budget will include the $70 million for legal services for asylum seekers.
Of that amount, advocates have asked that $10 million be used for scaling up pro se legal clinics to support people representing themselves as they apply for asylum, work authorizations, and temporary protected status. The remaining $60 million could go toward providing legal representation to those in immigration courts." Read more here.
NYC’s Summer Rising program rejected 45,000 applicants, launching scramble for child care (Chalkbeat)
"Roughly 45,000 children have been shut out of New York City’s free, popular summer program, education department officials said this week.
The program, which runs between six to seven weeks for most students, provides academics during the morning and enrichment activities in the afternoon for children in grades K-8 across the five boroughs from July to August.
Like last year, a total of 110,000 seats were available this year, with a portion held open for students mandated to attend summer school. During a City Council hearing this week, the education department’s Chief Operating Officer Emma Vadehra said there are 94,000 seats available for 139,000 applicants. Officials initially reported that 30,000 families did not receive spots." Read more here.
At least $391 per child in pandemic food benefits is coming to each NYC public school family (Chalkbeat)
"New York City public school families, regardless of income, will soon receive a new allotment of food benefits of at least $391 per child, according state officials.
Known as the Coronavirus Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, or P-EBT, the federal program aims to help families whose children typically receive free meals at school — and since New York City public schools have universal meals, all families are eligible.
The latest disbursement of funds — which could total up to $1,671 per child based on COVID-related absences or remote-learning days — is based on the 2021-22 school year and the summer of 2022. The rollout began in April, with most payments posting this month, according to the state. Officials expect distribution to continue through September." Read more here.
One Year in NYC: Migrants Still Fighting to Leave Shelters (Documented)
"For the past several weeks, Documented has spent time speaking with more than 50 of these asylum seekers in all five boroughs — some have only been in the city for a matter of days when we interviewed them, and others have been in New York for more than a year. Documented interviewed asylum seekers from Venezuela, Ecuador, Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Turkey, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Peru. They told stories of traversing dangerous stretches of jungle, kidnappings, and injury among their loved ones before settling in New York. Many are working to find housing alternatives while their asylum cases are determined at the immigration courts, but say that the long waiting period for work documents stands in their way.
Across the city, the migrants we spoke to expressed gratitude to the New York City government for providing shelter and other assistance. But their stories also illuminated a lack of support systems at city shelters, forcing them to turn to outside groups for necessities such as fresh food, MetroCards, clothes, and access to laundry.
To accommodate the growing number of migrants, city and state officials have opted to use locations such as churches and former schools to shelter migrants, calling them “emergency respite sites.” Mayor Adams signed an emergency executive order on May 10 which temporarily suspended provisions of the city’s right to shelter law, including the prohibition of congregate settings for women and children." 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. 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. During the pandemic, the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey was conducted on a near-real-time, biweekly basis to track food insufficiency. 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. 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 email@example.com.
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!