MAY 2021

SNAP Households Survey -
May 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

Tax filing rates suggest that a quarter of eligible Fresh EBT households may not start receiving Child Tax Credit payments in July.

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

Only 59% of Fresh EBT users reported that they had filed taxes in 2021 by May.

Among users with children under 18, those who are likely eligible to start receiving monthly Child Tax Credit payments in July, 74% had filed taxes in 2021. 

A Fresh EBT user in Tennessee said what a permanent, expanded Child Tax Credit would mean to them:

I would be so grateful because we would not have to need anything. We wouldn't have to worry about bills or worry about clothes or shoes for the kids. We wouldnt have to worry about things that could happen like our vehicle breaking down. We would be able to have everything we need and even able to save which we've never been able to do. 

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

It would help tremendously. Oh my goodness I could put my son in the preschool he needs to help his behavior.

Fresh EBT User

Ohio

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It would change our situation, our lives. I know it doesn't seem like much money but it would ease so many burdens. 

Fresh EBT User

Wisconsin

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INSIGHT 02

The portion of Fresh EBT households in unstable housing increased, as well as other measures of hardship.

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

10.3% of Fresh EBT users said they were not currently living in stable housing, up by almost 2 percentage points since April.

33%

of users said they decided not to pay a bill in the past 30 days, up by over 2 percentage points since April.

19%

of users said that they relied on family and friends for meals in the past 30 days, a slight increase after this measure dropped steadily since January.

A Fresh EBT user in Illinois says about their housing situation:

I've been helped with a place to stay at various points. I'm homeless and have been allowed to sleep on the couch a few times with various family and friends. They've also helped me financially when needed with the expectation that I'll pay them back when able to.

 

INSIGHT 03

However, P-EBT and extra SNAP deposits are reaching more families, and having a positive impact on alleviating food insecurity.

Source: Random sample of Fresh EBT users

The portion of Fresh EBT users receiving extra SNAP deposits increased by 6.4 percentage points since April, to 61%.

However, Latinx users were far less likely to receive extra SNAP. Only 53% of Latinx users reported receiving extra SNAP deposits, while 64% of white users and 63% of Black users said the same.

The portion of Fresh EBT users receiving P-EBT increased by 5.7 percentage points since April, to 40%.

Black Fresh EBT users were less likely than white users to get P-EBT: 46% of Black users did not get P-EBT while 40% of white users reported the same.

These programs had a positive impact on food insecurity. In particular, fewer users who are receiving these programs reported eating less, skipping meals, and visiting a food pantry in the past 30 days.

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