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.

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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.

01

02

03

 

INSIGHT 01

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:

30%

have skipped meals

1

percentage points

38%

have eaten less

1

percentage points

27%

have visited a food pantry

1

percentage points

20%

relied on family or friends for meals

1

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

Alabama

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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

Florida

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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

Minnesota

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INSIGHT 02

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

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

74%

of white users

68%

of black users

54%

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:

60%

of white users

57%

of black users

40%

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.

 

INSIGHT 03

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:

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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

Missouri

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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

Oklahoma

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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

Ohio

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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

Oregon

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