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  • Writer's pictureEpiscopal Charities

Weekly Resource Round-Up: May 16, 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.

  • 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.


Rockland County hotel barred from housing migrants at least until June in blow to NYC Mayor Adams’ relocation plan (Daily News)


"Mayor Adams’ plan to house hundreds of migrants in a Rockland County hotel is on ice at least until next month due to a string of recent court setbacks.

The Adams administration was initially expected to start sending migrants via bus to the Armoni Inn & Suites in Rockland’s Orangetown last week, with a goal of getting some 340 asylum seekers relocated there within weeks.

Those plans were upended when Orangetown Supervisor Teresa Kenny, a Republican, convinced a Rockland County Supreme Court judge to issue a restraining order last Tuesday barring the hotel from housing any migrants coming up from New York City.

That restraining order was set to expire Monday — but in a ruling over the weekend, Rockland County Supreme Court Justice Christie D’Alessio extended it until at least May 31"

Read more here.


Suburban New York hotel is latest symbol of immigration divide (Politico)


"NEWBURGH, N.Y. — Three miles from the nearest supermarket on an isolated street near Stewart Airport in Newburgh, several male asylum-seekers sat out in the sun mingling with news reporters from all over the world.


The calm scene Friday was periodically interrupted by drivers honking and yelling out expletives to anyone who will listen. Others from the community stopped to drop off donations. Like the country, the Hudson Valley community is divided on New York City’s decision to send three buses of male asylum-seekers to the area this week."


Read more here


Seven School Gyms Are Housing Migrants or Could Soon. Parents and Pols Are Pushing Back (The City)


"Some 500 asylum-seekers slept in a school gym on Staten Island over the weekend. By Monday city officials had identified six more gyms, all in Brooklyn, to cope with an evolving emergency."

Read more here


NYC schools grasp for support as some migrant students miss out on mandated English instruction (Chalkbeat)


"An estimated 14,000 asylum-seeking immigrant students have enrolled in New York City public schools, city officials said last month. Teachers are finding that many of these children are learning English at the most basic level, and some hadn’t attended school regularly before arriving in the United States. The students are legally entitled to extra support, but some schools are struggling to provide it.

Failing to meet the needs of English language learners is not a new problem. Since 2016, the state has placed New York City on a corrective action plan because the district has failed to adequately support English learners, including not providing required services for those with disabilities. The plan, which has been extended multiple times over the past seven years, requires the city to gradually provide more of these services."

Read more here


Food relief groups gear up for summer (Queens Chronicle)


"Food relief agencies in New York City can usually depend on reliable turnout to help around Thanksgiving and the December holiday seasons.


But challenges can arise as the weather turns warmer, children are not in school on a daily basis, and people can be more focused on things like vacations


Janis Robinson, vice president of institutions and partnerships at the Food Bank for NYC, knows the drill all too well.


“One of the things we say at Food Bank is that hunger doesn’t take a break,” Robinson told the Chronicle in a recent interview.


“So even though we make sure that we have the resources for the holidays, it’s important that we have resources throughout the year,” Robinson said. “That means we work very hard to ensure the families we serve continue to get our support during the summer months as well.”


Read more here


Why bacon, egg and cheese prices have doubled and more convos in Bronx bodegas (Gothamist)


"Few places capture the essence of New York City like a bodega.

Every New Yorker has their favorite corner store, where they can grab a sandwich in a hurry, pick up a roll of toilet paper or catch up on gossip. Bodegas, alongside barbershops and laundromats, are trusted hubs where people can connect with their communities. But many of these lifelines and the communities they serve were strained by the pandemic.

So, WNYC/Gothamist set out to pilot a community survey focused on these essential businesses, starting with bodegas. Our early mission centers on learning about three topics relevant to most New Yorkers this year and how they translate into their daily lives:

  1. The price of a bacon, egg and cheese

  2. Crime and its influence on mental health

  3. Marijuana legalization"

Read more here


US families experience more chronic food insecurity now than 20 years ago, finds study (Medicalxpress)


"More families are chronically food insecure than they were 20 years ago, according to a study led by a University of Michigan researcher.


The finding comes at a time when SNAP and similar benefits may decrease because of the expected end of the federal Public Health Emergency for COVID-19.

The survey study, published as a research letter in JAMA Pediatrics, compared rates of food insecurity—defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life—20 years apart

Using data that follows the same families over time, lead author and U-M researcher Noura Insolera found that the rate of families reporting chronic food insecurity between 2015 and 2019 more than doubled compared to families surveyed in 1999 to 2003."


read more here


Study Shows Pantry’s Success in Moving Clients to Self-Sufficiency (Food Bank News)


"The Kelly Center for Hunger Relief in El Paso, Tex., had a pretty good feeling a few years ago about the positive impact of its FreshStart program, which is designed to move food pantry clients toward self-sufficiency. Those feelings were confirmed with the results of a recently released formal evaluation quantifying the program’s success.

This article is part of an ongoing series highlighting innovation and best practices at the nation’s food pantries.

Initially launched in 2016 as a three-year pilot, the program uses individualized coaching and education to reduce clients’ reliance on charitable food. Research conducted by the University of Texas at El Paso and funded by Oak Ridge Associated Universities under an agreement with the National Library of Medicine, confirmed the value of this approach. "


Read more here


Reading instruction is getting an overhaul in NYC. Here’s how that could affect your school. (Chalkbeat)


"Chancellor David Banks is planning the most aggressive overhaul to the way New York City schools teach students to read in nearly 20 years.

The changes, announced this week, will require the city’s elementary schools to adopt one of three reading programs over the next two years. They must also phase out materials from a popular “balanced literacy” curriculum developed by Lucy Calkins, a professor at Teachers College, which has been used by hundreds of elementary schools in recent years.

“A big part of the bad guidance was rooted in what has been called balanced literacy,” Banks said this week. “We must give children the basic foundational skills of reading.”


But what is balanced literacy, anyway? And how are the new curriculums different?

Here’s how the changes could impact students in grades K-5:"


Read more here


What’s the Best Way to Distribute Food? (Food Bank News)


"Besides sourcing food, giving it out is arguably the most important thing a food bank does. But there does not seem to be general agreement on how best to do it.

Mass drive-through distributions, ushered in by Covid, continue at some food banks, but have been phased out at others. Strategies around traditional pantry networks are evolving, and technology is supporting new ways of distributing food, but with varying levels of uptake.

“There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Melanie McGuire, Chief Programs Officer at San Antonio Food Bank. “We want to make sure that we’re creating services that meet our clients’ needs, but that doesn’t mean that there’s a cookie-cutter approach.”" Read more here.


NYC Water Bill Help: Here's How To Tap Debt Program (Patch NYC)


"NEW YORK CITY — Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers can get help paying the water bill from the city this month.

An amnesty program that will forgive up to 100 percent interest for nearly 200,000 customers with late water bills is being extended until May 31, said Mayor Eric Adams." Read more here.


After Anti-Asian Hate: A Guide for Asians Recovering from Hate Crimes (Documented)


"Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a wave of anti-Asian hate crimes in several major cities and regions, including New York City. Despite reaching the end of the pandemic, the Asian community continues to bear the lasting impact and wounds of the hate crimes inflicted upon them."


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 esantiago@hudsonlink.org.


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:


  • Elevating and Mobilizing Voices from across New York to Advocate for an Equitable 2023 Farm Bill - May 25, 1-2:30pm ET - Zoom webinar - To engage New Yorkers in shaping the 2023 Farm Bill, Equity Advocates, Black Farmers United NYS, and Food for the Spirit launched a collaborative statewide Farm Bill campaign beginning with developing a community-informed policy platform. They prioritized outreach to and participation of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) farmers, producers, & practitioners in NY State, ultimately hearing from over 300 New Yorkers. The resulting policy platform represents a collective voice from NYS community food leaders, farmers, gardeners, land stewards, producers, and advocates. Join us to hear from these groups on the importance of the Farm Bill for NY food and farming efforts, and their collaborative campaign

  • Upcoming USDA Spring Grant Opportunities - Deadlines are approaching for various USDA Grants, including those listed below. Find the full list here:

    • Regional Food System Partnerships (Deadline 5/2). RFSP supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. The RFSP focuses on building and strengthening local or regional food economy viability and resilience, and this includes pandemic response and recovery. Applicants will work with their partners to catalyze the development of local or regional food systems. Applicants will coordinate efforts within the partnership to set priorities, connect resources and services, and measure progress towards common goals.

    • Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program – USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture (Deadline 5/4). The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is requesting applications for projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by providing fruit and vegetable incentives to consumers shopping with their USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) benefits, formerly known as food stamps. The incentives increase consumer purchasing power through “double-up-bucks” programs when buying fruits and vegetables.

    • and more

  • 2023 Champions Award Accepting Nominations - In 2017, the Community Food Funders steering committee created the Champions Award to recognize the organizations empowering food system change in our region. The award aims to promote the work of an outstanding organization that is working towards the transition of our food system to one that pursues a true triple bottom line: a system that honors and values people, the environment, and sustainable economic models. We are now accepting nominations for the 2023 award. Anyone may submit a nomination, and organizations may self-nominate. Deadline: May 12, 2023.

  • Field Hall Foundation Accepting LOI's - Field Hall Foundation is accepting Letters of Inquiry for its Fall 2023 grant cycle. The Foundation supports programs and projects that directly improve the lives of low-income older adults and their caregivers in Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester Counties. Priority is given to programs that address their most basic needs, including food insecurity. Eligibility requirements and a Letter of Inquiry Cover Sheet with instructions are on their website: Deadline: May 31.

  • 2023 Farm Bill Listening Session - April 26, 2023 2pm-4pm EDT - Virtual - The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is pleased to announce a series of listening sessions on the 2023 Farm Bill. These sessions will complement a series of roundtable discussions held in 2022 by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets and permit OTDA to gain additional perspectives regarding the Farm Bill’s Nutrition Title.

  • 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.

  • 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.


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


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