Weekly Resource Round-Up: May 30, 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.
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.
Albany expects more asylum-seekers to arrive Monday night (Times Union)
"ALBANY — A second group of about 40 asylum-seekers was expected to arrive in the city late Monday night, Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, which would bring to 105 the number of migrants New York City has sent north to Albany County over the holiday weekend.
Albany received its first group of 40 migrants late Sunday, settling them into an Albany hotel, while Colonie has been granted a temporary court order to prevent more migrants from being sent to the town after a group of 25 arrived at a hotel there Saturday.
The 40 asylum-seekers who arrived late Sunday night in Albany were the second group to be bused to Albany County after New York City began transporting migrants to other locations to alleviate the recent crush of people who have been transported there from U.S. southern border states." Read more here.
NYC plans to use former Harlem state prison to hold migrants as their numbers increase (NY Daily News)
"A closed Harlem prison will be used to temporarily house the scores of migrants coming into New York, city officials confirmed.
Gov. Hochul on Friday gave City Hall the green light to use the former Lincoln Correctional Facility on W. 110th St. at the northern end of Central Park as a “respite center” that will house about 500 migrants for short periods of time as they find more suitable housing.
The prison is the Adams administration’s latest attempt to house the more than 60,000 migrants who have come to the city since last year." Read more here
‘Perfect storm’ of anti-Asian violence, bias in NY fuels mental health crisis (Gothamist)
"The executive director of the New York-based Asian American Federation says the community is facing a mental health crisis. Jo-Ann Yoo says that hate crimes, fear and discrimination are continuing to buffet the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. She adds that these concerns are compounded by increasing difficulty in finding support amid a shrinking pool of available mental health counselors who speak the “preferred language” and have the cultural competency to work with Asian American and Pacific Islander clientele. “The anti-Asian violence, the joblessness, the homelessness … all of this perfect storm of so many vulnerable people — not just physically, but emotionally, mentally – it is creating a crisis,” Yoo told Gothamist." Read more here
Once again, SNAP is a political football: And Americans suffer for it (The Hill)
"...Simply entertaining the idea of eliminating vital food programs that provide a lifeline for millions of people in light of the state of food insecurity in America would be absurd. But actual proposals in Congress have done just that as the pending fight over the debt ceiling looms.
A bill passed last month by U.S. House Republicans to raise the debt limit includes major government spending rollbacks, including proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). The important role SNAP plays in combating food insecurity is well documented. Yet, Republican leaders want to include work requirements as part of SNAP eligibility, a provision that will only widen hunger’s grip on a growing number of Americans.
The fact is, approximately 70 percent of U.S. college students have at least some type of part-time job. If work requirements become part of SNAP eligibility, Congress should agree to accept students in the program who have to work to help make ends meet."
Older Americans are struggling with rising food costs—here are some resources that can help (MarketWatch)
"Gudrun Fortner has felt the sting of inflation. She is on a fixed income, and although her mobile home is paid for, the 73-year-old Florida resident says rising costs of living — particularly the rising cost of eating — have made it difficult for her and other older adults to make ends meet.
“Without my little food stamps and church, I would be in deep trouble,” she says. Others share her concern. Benefits that are known colloquially as food stamps and issued under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, were raised during the COVID-19 pandemic to help people who could not work because they or their employers were quarantined, and to help low-income people have a healthier diet to ward off the COVID virus." Read more here.
Biden, GOP reach tentative deal to raise debt ceiling, avoid calamitous US default (AP)
"WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy reached an “agreement in principle” to raise the nation’s legal debt ceiling late Saturday as they raced to strike a deal to limit federal spending and avert a potentially disastrous U.S. default.
However, the agreement risks angering both Democratic and Republican sides with the concessions made to compromise. Negotiators agreed to some Republican demands for increased work requirements for recipients of food stamps that had sparked an uproar from House Democrats as a nonstarter.
Support from both parties will be needed to win congressional approval next week before the government’s projected June 5 debt default." 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
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!