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SNAP Households Survey -
September 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.

Providers - Benefits Hub - w Device (1).png

September 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 7,409 of over 5 million Providers users from September 1 - September 14, 2021. All respondents are EBT cardholders.







The August Child Tax Credit again reduced housing, food, and financial insecurity

Source: Random sample of Providers users

The August Child Tax Credit reduced hardship


of respondents with children under 18 years old received a payment in August 2021.*

*The portion of Providers users with children under 18 who received the August Child Tax Credit payment varies across different surveys, ranging from 68-84%.

They were more likely to:

  • say they lived in stable housing

  • say they were very certain they would be able to stay in their current housing for the next 30 days

They were less likely to:

  • have been evicted

  • have slept in a shelter for at least one night in the past month

  • say they do not have most things they need in their homes

  • have visited a food pantry in the past month

  • have missed an appointment, skipped going somewhere, or missed work because they didn’t have a way of getting there

  • have less than $25 on hand

Spanish-speakers living with children under 18 were less likely to report receiving the Child Tax Credit payment, compared to English-speakers.

Users who describe their employment status as
unable to work are also less likely to report receiving the Child Tax Credit.

It's helped buy food, clothes, and other supplies for my child and us to live on when our other financial means have run out.

Providers User


I had a phone when otherwise it would be shut off, and gas when I had to work instead of begging rides.

Providers User




Evictions and utility shut offs have reached the highest level

Source: Random sample of Providers users

The portion of users who reported being evicted in the past 30 days surpassed 5% for the first time.

Evicted in the last 30 days

4% of users reported sleeping in a shelter at least one night in the month

11% of users had utilities shut off in the last 30 days

Had utilities shut off in the last 30 days

Black users were almost twice as likely as white users to report that their utilities were shut off in the past 30 days.



More users are getting sick, working less, and losing jobs

Source: Random sample of Providers users

Few have received rental assistance, but knowledge of the assistance has increased substantially

  • 11% of users reported losing a job in the past 30 days

2pp since last month

  • 22% of users said they got sick in the past 30 days

6pp since last month

  • 15% had work hours (wages) reduced (at a current or previous job)

4pp since last month

I got laid off from my job and I’ve been trying to get myself caught up with my electric bill since I’m always a month behind as well as my water bill, I have a cousin that has been very blessing to me because she has gotten groceries for me several times.

Providers User


insights 4


Borrowing to cover expenses has increased, as has levels of debt

Source: Random sample of Providers users

61% of users have borrowed or used credit to cover their expenses in the last 30 days

Borrowed or used credit in the last 30 days

The portion of users reporting that they have debt has increased across every category:

  • More owe back rent or mortgage payments

  • More owe money to their family and/or friends

  • More owe on their utilities or other bills

  • More owe on their credit cards

  • More have other kinds of debt

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