DECEMBER 2021

SNAP Households Survey -
December Results

Providers (formerly Fresh EBT) is a free mobile app that helps over 5 million low-income families manage their SNAP benefits. To understand how the circumstances in the lives of Providers users are changing, we have been conducting surveys each month.

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December 2021 key findings

The following insights come from a 10-minute multiple choice and open response survey conducted by Providers to a random sample of 6,229 of over 5M Providers users from December 1 - December 14, 2021. All respondents are EBT cardholders.

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INSIGHT 01

The vast majority of users are experiencing higher costs across all their monthly needs.

Source: Random sample of Providers users

Providers users are facing higher prices across all categories, especially food.

84.2%

of users said it costs more to cover their basic monthly food purchases than it did a year ago

84%

of users said it costs more to cover their basic monthly non-food purchases than it did a year ago

79.3%

of users said it costs more to cover their basic transportation needs than it did a year ago

71.3%

of users said it costs more to cover their monthly utility bills than it did a year ago

I noticed the inflation in the price of gas and the cost of food. I do not receive enough food stamps monthly to pay for me and my son. I struggle to buy food and clothes for us. I have to spend an additional $100-$200 out of pocket and that takes away from other bills, thus risking my electricity and housing.

Providers User, Texas

Yes we have been impacted. Gas for my car went up. I can’t really afford gas to get to work. Food prices went up. Now it costs about $80 a meal to feed my family, so I have to make smaller meals to stretch the food for the week.

Providers user, Michigan

Gas had gone up so much, I don't have enough money to go to the store or take my kids to school.

Providers user, Pennsylvania

 

INSIGHT 02

The November Child Tax Credit payment again reduced housing, food, and financial insecurity.

Source: Random sample of Providers users

The November Child Tax Credit reduced hardship

​Families that received the November CTC payment were more likely to:

  • live in stable housing and

  • pay rent on time.

They were also less likely to:

  • not have what they need at home;

  • have spent a night in a shelter;

  • rely on friends and family for meals; and

  • have less than $25 on hand.

[With the CTC] I paid my water bill ahead of time, paid my gas utilities and electric utilities. I was also able to get my children things they need every month. It was very helpful, and I'm worried about not receiving it anymore

Providers user, Pennsylvania

 

INSIGHT 03

The majority users did not pay their utility bills in full in the previous 30 days, and 10% experienced a shut off.

Source: Random sample of Providers users

55% of users reported not paying their utility bills in full in the last 30 days

This is the highest in survey history

63%

owe money on their utilities or other bills, also the highest in survey history

10%

of users reported that their utilities were shut off in the past 30 days

Black respondents were more likely to have not paid their utility bill in full in the last 30 days–61% compared to 52% of white respondents.

They were also much more likely to have their utilities shut off in the last 30 days– 15% compared to 9% of white respondents.

Black and Latinx respondents were also more likely to say their monthly utility costs had increased since the same time last year–75% of Latinx and 73% of Black respondents compared to 69% of white respondents.

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