SEPTEMBER 2020

Five impacts COVID-19 is having on low-income Americans

Fresh EBT is a free mobile app that helps over 4 million low-income families manage their SNAP benefits. Through the app, users can access daily savings, income-eligible programs, and local employment opportunities, all available from partner organizations.

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Conducting monthly surveys

Undeniably, the COVID-19 crisis is having a devastating impact on low-income Americans. To understand how the circumstances in the lives of Fresh EBT users are changing, we have been conducting surveys each month. In sharing the key insights below, we hope that individuals, organizations, and businesses will better understand the changing needs and realities of low-income families and step up for those in need.

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September 2020 key findings

The following insights come from a 6-minute multiple choice and open response survey conducted by Fresh EBT to a random sample of 2,865 Fresh EBT users from September 1 - 14, 2020. 

INSIGHT 01

There is no slack and households are being forced into extreme measures to get through the month.

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

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57%

reported having to borrow money or use credit to pay for everyday expenses.

76%

report not having what they need at home (like food, household products, cleaning supplies).

56%

of respondents had less than $25 at time of taking the survey.

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I have had to borrow money from relatives to make ends meet. I have also had to pawn items to pay bills such as my car...and gas for my car so I can continue to work.

Fresh EBT user

 

INSIGHT 02

If Fresh EBT users could get help with one thing, they want help with rent.

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

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We asked users to pick one area of support that would be the most useful during the pandemic.

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75.8%

report that the pandemic has caused them to fall behind on rent, mortgage or utilities.

80%

used stimulus payments to cover rent or bills.

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