MARCH 2021

SNAP Households Survey -
March Results

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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March 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 5,378 Fresh EBT users from March 1 - 14, 2021. All respondents are EBT cardholders.

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02

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INSIGHT 01

Food insecurity has reached an all-time low since we began surveying

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

In the past 30 days:

31%

have skipped meals

5

percentage points

since December 2020

39%

have eaten less

7

percentage points

since December 2020

28%

have visited a food pantry

6

percentage points

since December 2020

21%

relied on family or friends for meals

7

percentage points

since December 2020

In addition, those saying they have everything they need right now has reached highest point: 12%, up 4 percentage points since December 2020

Each month we ask, how respondents would want to see their state spend COVID aid funds:

Fresh EBT users want less help with food now, and more help with debt, healthcare, and medical bills. 

However, many families are still struggling to eat each month

Spanish

Mi madre me dio todo sus ahorros para que mis hijos puedan comer.  

English

My mother gave me all her savings so that my children can eat.

SNAP Participant

Washington

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I have gone to church food pantries to help me to eat close to the end of each month.

SNAP Participant

Pennsylvania

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My neighbor took me grocery shopping about two weeks ago when I had no way to feed my daughter.

SNAP Participant

California

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INSIGHT 02

Housing insecurity has worsened, reaching its highest point

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

Those living in unstable housing has climbed to over 9%, up from 7.48% in December 2020.

4.69% say there were evicted (3.92% last month)

4.25% report sleeping in a shelter at least one night in the past month (3.66% last month)

However,

42%

paid April rent on time, more than ever before

I owe my landlord over $7,000 but I pay what I can every week. I’ve asked for help but no one seems to care. I’ve been served eviction notice.

Fresh EBT User - Michigan

 

INSIGHT 03

Utility bills are a source of great strain for households

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

Over 10% of Fresh EBT users had their utilities shut off in the past 30 days, with Black and Latinx households more likely to be affected by shut offs.

7.24%

of white respondents

14.41%

of black respondents

11.7%

of latinx respondents

Households with children were also more likely to have their utilities shut off.

When they lif[t] the hold on power shut offs I will [lose] my power as it's at $450.00 already.

Fresh EBT User - Washington

Over 21% of respondents said they are not planning on paying their utility bills this month

 

INSIGHT 04

SNAP churn affects over ⅕ of users, with Black and Latinx households more likely to be affected

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

Over ⅕ of respondents churned off and back on SNAP in the past 6 months. 

Black and Latinx respondents were more likely to have lost and restarted SNAP in the last 6 months:

In addition, 2.5% of Fresh EBT users report having to pay back some or all of their SNAP benefits since July 2020

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

I would be able to buy the[m] school clothes, shoes[,] supplies, winter coats, [etc]... I would be able to put them [i]n sports or play an instrument I have 6 kids and we barely get by. Were a 1 [income] household and after [b]ills and food gas there is nothing left. That extra 300 would really help make sure the kids have everything they need. 

SNAP Participant

Michigan

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I would no longer have to worry if my kids have enough food. Some days they want seconds and I have to tell them I am so sorry I didn’t make any extra. Not because I don’t want to because all I have is on the table for dinner. 

SNAP Participant

Michigan

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I’d be more financially stable. It would change my life

SNAP Participant

Ohio

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I would have more housing options available to me which would mean better schools for my girls. And be able to shop at different grocery stores with different food options.

SNAP Participant

Alabama

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