Amid one of the hottest summers on record, over 11% of surveyed users have had their utilities shut off in the last 30 days.
Year-on-year, the utility shut-off rate has increased by 15% from last summer. Prior to May 2023, the only other time utility shut-off rates surpassed 11% was in October 2022.
Utility shut-offs are disproportionately affecting Black households: 14% of Black respondents had their utilities shut off in the last 30 days compared to 10% of white respondents and 11% of Latinx respondents.
Surveyed Black users are 37% more likely than white users to be behind on utility bills.
"I need help with food, air conditioning, and fans in this 100+ degree weather. I’m exhausted from the heat and hungry." - Providers user, SC
"I had to choose whether to pay a bill or eat, and as a result, I am now behind in my rent and utility payment." - Valerie, PA
In the wake of benefit reductions, heightened food insecurity is showing no signs of recovery to pandemic-era levels.
Consistent with April levels when benefit reductions officially took hold nationwide, 40.5% of respondents in July reported skipping meals in the last 30 days. Year-on-year, the share of users cutting food intake has increased by 34%.
The share of surveyed users who are relying on family or friends for meals or groceries climbed to 33% in July – a 10% increase from June and a record-high since the indicator was introduced in September 2020.
On average in July, surveyed households spent around $288 in cash on food beyond their monthly SNAP benefit.
"We’ve had to pawn items and skip paying bills just to keep the bare minimum of food in our house for the kids. My husband and I eat after the kids have eaten, and I’ve lost weight while pregnant." - Providers user, TX
"We have to be creative with meals when we’re extremely low on food. My husband is struggling to make enough to cover bills, and we have to snack instead of having meals." - Crystal, FL
Despite increased borrowing, a record share of households report missing necessary everyday items.
For the first time since we began surveying users on household necessities in September 2020, over 60% of respondents say they do not have everything they typically need in their home.
The share of surveyed users carrying some kind of debt rose 7% from June to 72% overall – an all-time high since the question was introduced in September 2020
26% of those carrying debt owe on rent, 36% owe family or friends, 42% owe past-due utility bills, and 57% owe credit card debt.
Consistent with reported levels from June, 62% of respondents have less than $25 on hand and 56% believe their cash will only last 1-2 days.
"I had to stop paying some credit cards to make room for money for food." - Rebecca, NY
"My brother helped us out with $50 to get some food until payday. I also had to pawn my laptop to put gas in my truck which was only $60." - Carrie, LA