ISSUE 132 | November 10, 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
Commonwealth establishes helpline for families seeking food reimbursements 
During pandemic-induced school closures, many children did not receive low-cost or no-cost meals for which they were eligible during standard school operations.

Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) funds were intended to help families pay for these meals, and the program was approved for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Families due reimbursements can call 484.363.2137 for support.  

Philadelphia opens its first green bank 
Green banks use public funds to encourage private investment in new areas – such as the climate.

The nonprofit bank will focus on financing clean energy in communities.

It will work with the city’s energy campaign to create 10,000 clean energy jobs and invest $1 billion in clean energy initiatives. 

Philadelphia is leading conversions of vacant space into apartments
Philadelphia has developed a housing shortage over the past decade, but has recently embraced an opportunity to convert vacant space to apartments in prime locations throughout the city.

Private developers are leading the charge in market or above market rental housing.

An upcoming change to property tax abatement may incentivize even more activity.

In the Spotlight: Northeastern Pennsylvania's school districts continue to recover from the challenges presented by COVID-19, and The Institute has conducted a two-part study of these issues. Follow the link below and scroll down to access this research, along with an array of other pandemic-related insights.

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
Healthy food distribution among unprecedented challenges school districts face 
Lack of affordable and high-quality childcare contributes significantly to the workforce shortage, but employers can now use a new app to help employees find and pay for childcare.

Helpr contains information regarding local providers and a pay system.

Employees can also add family and friends to the app, and employers can subsidize the childcare costs.

Newark trauma-informed care program boasts no police gunfire in 2020
Unwarranted use of force is evident throughout the history of Newark, New Jersey’s police department.

Trauma to Trust is an initiative that educates police and community members about trauma, as well as the use of empathy to de-escalate tense situations.

The trainings have coincided with a drop in gunfire, and have led to new policies and procedures for dealing with marginalized populations as well.  

New software application helps employers assist workers with childcare 
A FoodCorps study engaged school districts across the U.S. to learn about their experiences during the pandemic, and how their in-school food service plans have changed.

The report details key insights about the relationship between education and nutrition.

It also offers recommendations to help schools move forward successfully.  

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