JUNE 2021

SNAP Households Survey -
June 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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INSIGHT 01

Fewer Fresh EBT households  paid June rent on time than in the previous two months, and a majority owe back rent/mortgage payments.

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

Fewer users reported that they paid June rent on time from April and May levels.

45%

paid rent on time

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percentage points

2.68

60%

The majority of users who pay rent/mortgage owe back rent or mortgage payments.

19% owe $1,000 or more

I was living out of my car. Until my daughter offered me her couch but we fight a lot and it’s not ok to do that in front of my granddaughters so to keep me from sleeping in my car I keep my mouth shut which it’s so hard when I feel so disrespected. I just want a place of my own where I can not have high anxiety and happiness in my life once again. The way things are looking I’m not sure that will happen

 

INSIGHT 02

Borrowing to cover expenses in the past 30 days has increased by almost 10 percentage points after all-time lows in April and May.

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

56% of Fresh EBT users reporting borrowing or using credit to cover expenses in the last 30 days; a level not seen since January 2021.

73%

of users report owing on utilities or other bills

61% owe $500 or more

31%

of users report owing family or friends $500 or more.

46%

have less that $25 on hand

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percentage points

4.5

Our utilities got shut off due to loss of jobs and haven’t received taxes yet [...] my parents had to get a loan to get our electric back on.

I have had to get help from family members because I had to get a title loan on my car to help pay my bills because I wasn’t working and I’m still looking for work every day to help fill that financial hole. It’s been rough but I’m keeping all faith in the lord right now and forever.

Fresh EBT User

Mississippi

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INSIGHT 03

Black Fresh EBT users are experiencing more financial instability, material hardship, and housing instability.

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

Black Fresh EBT users faced disproportionately high levels across most of these measures. Black respondents were:

Less likely to have paid June rent on time.

More likely to express uncertainty about remaining in their current housing for the next 30 days.

More likely to owe on their utilities/other bills.

More likely to have decided to not pay a bill in the past 30 days.

More likely to have borrowed money or used credit to cover expenses in the last 30 days.

More likely to think that the money they have on hand will last them only 1-2 days

More likely to not have most things they need at home

 

INSIGHT 04

Roughly a quarter of Fresh EBT users experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression nearly every day in the past two weeks.

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

We used an established mental health screening tool (Patient Health Questionnaire 4 or PHQ-4) for the first time in a survey of users. The PHQ-4 is a very brief questionnaire to assess anxiety and depression. Answering “more than half the days” or “nearly every day” for each measure indicates moderate to severe psychological distress.

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I'm afraid at times to leave my home because of my health and that is another reason why I'm getting severely depressed. At this point it's hard to find a counselor that I can talk to in person. It is extremely hard for me to do it over a computer.

Fresh EBT User

Washington

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When a person is already stressed [about] how to pay bills and then making [a] decision on if they can eat today [it] kills the moral[e] and motivation in a person.

Fresh EBT User

Texas

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I have no help. I am a single mom with no support from the Kids fathers or my family. I’m struggling financially and mentally, alone.

Fresh EBT User

Indiana

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