Weekly Resource Round-Up: May 23, 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.
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.
Roosevelt Hotel opens as official asylum seekers arrival center, will house families with children (CBS News)
"NEW YORK --- The Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan opened as the new arrivals center for asylum seekers on Friday, but New York City's immigration commissioner admitted it's unclear if the city can continue finding space.
The 850-room hotel in Midtown will be the official port of entry for asylum seekers after Mayor Eric Adams' office closed the welcoming center at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
The hotel will provide legal, medical and other services in addition to housing." Read and watch more here.
Housing migrants in school gyms: What we know (and don’t) about NYC’s shelter plans (Chalkbeat)
"Up to 20 New York City public school gymnasiums could be transformed into emergency shelters for asylum seekers, a sudden move that Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday he was reluctant to make.
“This is one of the last places we want to look at,” the mayor said in an interview on NY1. “None of us are comfortable with having to take these drastic steps.”
Adams contends that the city is running out of space in shelters, hotels, and other emergency accommodations as more than 65,000 asylum seekers have arrived in New York City since last year." Read more here.
Grocery prices are rising more slowly, but food insecurity is surging among low-income Americans (MarketWatch)
"As grocery prices continue to climb, more people said they were eating less, skipping meals or cutting down in other areas to manage food costs.
Prices for food at home rose 7.1% in April compared to last year, according to the latest government data released Wednesday. The year-over-year price increase was down from 8.3% in March and 10.1% in February, and price hikes were down to levels not seen since the start of 2022.
Manufactured foods, such as baked goods, continued to get more expensive. The pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have been two major disruptions to the supply chain in the past few years — and caused prices for items from packaging to animal feed to rise. An outbreak of avian flu last year pushed up prices for eggs, an important food staple. Egg prices rose 21% in April compared to last year. In March, egg prices rose 36% compared to 2022; they rose 55.4% between February 2022 and February 2023." Read more here.
In Hunts Point visit, Gillibrand touts $50M effort to end food deserts and insecurity (Bronx Times)
"Perhaps no Bronx community represents a bigger dichotomy in the city’s food infrastructure than Hunts Point.
Home to the city’s largest food producer, the Hunts Points Market — providing nearly five billion pounds of food to city restaurants, supermarkets and bodegas, and 25% of the city’s produce — located in the South Bronx neighborhood is also in one of the nation’s biggest food deserts.
Food insecurity, a measure of the availability of food and individuals’ ability to access it, has been a prevalent issue in the South Bronx where more than 40% of its resident live in poverty.
As federal lawmakers rework the U.S.’ Farm Bill, a package of legislation passed quinquennially, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is hoping to not only include a health initiative that increases access to healthy foods for food deserts like the South Bronx, but boost annual and mandatory funding of that program to $50 million by 2028." Read more here.
Opinion: Eric Adams’ proposed budget for youth-related programs won’t meet the demand providers will face (NYNMedia)
"Over the last six months, New York City Mayor Eric Adams has called on his commissioners to propose cuts to their agency’s spending three separate times. These cuts – also called Programs to Eliminate the Gap, or PEGs – have added up quickly. The Department of Youth and Community Development, which funds afterschool programs, summer youth employment, and community centers among other popular services, has proposed a nearly $40 million reduction in their program budget since November" 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.
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
The Post-Covid Nonprofit: Burnout, Chaos, and the Grinding Hunt for Staff and New Revenue (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)
"... Emergency aid from government and grant makers forestalled that nightmare, along with a surge in giving by individuals. The no-strings-attached money — effectively bushels of the general operating support that charities dream about — left some groups stronger than before. (See the article on Page 9.) Nearly a fifth of organizations in a survey in late 2022 by the Forvis consultancy reported that they are “very pleased” with their financial position.
For groups like Wolf Ridge, however, the red alerts triggered at Covid’s start continue to flash. The pandemic, it turns out, has a long tail that’s wreaking havoc on budgets, mission, and peace of mind. Adrenaline-fueled fears about staff safety, moving operations online, and navigating Covid surges have eased, but in their place is a grinding pressure to make ends meet amid inflation, labor shortages, and a “new normal” that’s eroding business models. Many nonprofit leaders are responding with promising innovation. Still, each day they confront unexpected chaos and an unknowable future. The job, they say, feels a lot harder, a crisis that never ends." 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:
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
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.
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!