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APRIL 2021

SNAP Households Survey -
April Results

Fresh EBT is a free mobile app that helps over 4 million low-income families manage their SNAP benefits. To understand how the circumstances in the lives of Fresh EBT users are changing, we have been conducting surveys each month.


April 2021 key findings

The following insights come from a 10-minute multiple choice and open response survey conducted by Fresh EBT to a random sample of 5,339 Fresh EBT users from April 1 - 14, 2021. All respondents are EBT cardholders.






Families are continuing to experience lower food insecurity and housing insecurity is starting to improve.

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

In the past 30 days:


have skipped meals


percentage points


have eaten less


percentage points


have visited a food pantry


percentage points


relied on family or friends for meals


percentage points

Those living in unstable housing has dropped back down from last months peak, to 8.6%

The portion of households saying they are uncertain they can remain in their current housing has dropped back to November level, to 3.46%.

I've been homeless living out of my truck and hotels since the pandemic hit. I lost my job and had no income. I also lost all 3 of my kids because [I’m] unable to maintain stable housing. This passed year has been a living hell but I will survive.

Borrowing to get by

I didn't have much money but my friend was in need because she has been sick out [of] work i let her borrow $50 even though I really didn't have to give. 

SNAP Participant


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I borrowed roughly 300$ from family and had to use credit cards to cover expenses at least once a month.

SNAP Participant


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Was able to borrow money and guarantee that I could pay it back because I had unemployment coming for sure weekly. I was able to have a friend cosign a loan.

SNAP Participant


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Improvements could be due to tax refunds and stimulus payments, but there are racial disparities in how they are reaching families.

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

The 3rd stimulus payment has now reached 60% of Fresh EBT users.

  • 84% put the money towards rent/bills

  • Latinx Fresh EBT users were significantly less likely to have received it (44% vs 60% of white users)

The 2nd stimulus has now reached 75% of Fresh EBT users

    10 percentage points since last month


But more white Fresh EBT users have received the 2nd stimulus payment than Black and Latinx users: 


of white users


of black users


of latinx users

58% of Fresh EBT users have received a tax refund

  • Only 55% of users have filed their 2020 taxes

  • Black and Latinx users are less likely to have received a tax refund:


of white users


of black users


of latinx users

I thought i would receive my second stimulus in time to pay my $280 duke bill but when it never showed i had to b[o]rrow from my grandmother that could barely pay hers.



Fewer are borrowing to get by each month, but they have accumulated significant debt.

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

45% of Fresh EBT users say the have borrowed or used credit to cover expenses in the last 30 days

  • Fresh EBT users owe on utilities/bills the most, as well as family/friends. They owe on their rent/mortgages the least:


We asked Fresh EBT users what a permanent, expanded Child Tax Credit would mean to them:

I feel it would change our life! We could finally afford to move into a real home where the  children could have their own bedroom! I think once we were stable in a home of the appropriate size we could afford to start a real savings with it for the children. They have piggy banks but no real savings for education or a car or starter money for when they move out.

SNAP Participant


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I would be able to pay my full amount of rent in my full electric bill as well as have a little bit more money to be able to go somewhere for a day trip considering my daughter is home schools. 

SNAP Participant


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I would be able to save money for unexpected expenses for my children and get my debt paid off putting me in a more stable financial situation for my children. Like saving for college or my retirement. 

SNAP Participant


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It would be so great for our family to not have to choose between medications and enough food to last the week or month. 

SNAP Participant


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