Expiration of enhanced Child Tax Credit looms, including for 229,000 Maine kids

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports on the status of the Child Tax Credit in December. The credit enhancements, including making the credit fully refundable, increasing the credit’s maximum value, and allowing families to claim 17-year-olds, have infused more than 39 million households with monthly income since July 2021. As the credit expansions… Read more »

College collects outside-the-classroom data on students to provide supports needed to keep them in the classroom

The Chronicle of Higher Education describes how the pandemic has inspired colleges to enhance data collection on students’ basic needs as a strategic effort to support student well being and improve graduation rates. The article highlights Amarillo College, a two-year college in Texas with about 9,000 enrolled students. While the school has asked students about… Read more »

How COVID relief funds continue to feed one California county’s seniors

In response to the uptick in pandemic-related food insecurity, California Governor Gavin Newsom supported the “Great Plates” program in Spring 2020, which used federal funding to purchase and deliver local restaurant meals to seniors facing food insecurity. With the recent expiration of funds for that program, San Mateo County has decided to leverage its own… Read more »

Material hardship declines after Child Tax Credit payout

A new analysis of Household Pulse Survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau finds that fewer households experienced trouble obtaining sufficient food and paying household expenses in the two-week period following the first Child Tax Credit advance payments began on July 15. Comparing reported food insufficiency rates between adults in households with children and those… Read more »

Spanish-speaking Hispanic households faced higher levels of food insufficiency during COVID-19

New research from the Census Bureau finds that Spanish-speaking Hispanic populations have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. The research finds food insufficiency rates consistently twice as high as among English-speaking Hispanic respondents, and employment loss at 50 percent higher. The analysis suggests unique risks for food insecurity in this population, including greater income insecurity… Read more »

Programs to help children in poverty overlap to supplement their needs

In 2017, approximately 92 percent of children who received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits also utilized other government assistance including Medicaid, CHIP, SNAP, WIC, TANF, SSI, and Social Security. Most commonly, children received Medicaid/CHIP benefits in addition to SNAP (89 percent of SNAP recipients here), while only one in ten also received TANF. The… Read more »

Successes of Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer program provide model for summer nutrition, if made permanent

To compensate for missed school meals amid remote learning, the federally funded, state-administered Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program has provided food stamp-like benefits to families and children who would otherwise rely on free and reduced-price school meals. Although designed as a pandemic response, the program has also addressed a critical gap in providing food… Read more »

Legacy of housing discrimination leaves underserved neighborhoods without healthy food access

A study of housing patterns and food environments publicized by the Urban Institute has been published in Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology and demonstrates a link between housing discrimination and neighborhood investment. Using data from the University of Richmond, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the City of Baltimore, the authors find that “blockbusting”—when realtors “persuade white… Read more »

New research finds SNAP participants face barriers to a healthy diet

A U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service study focuses on the barriers that SNAP beneficiaries face in crafting a healthy diet. Using a combination of survey data, nationally representative of SNAP participants, and in-depth interviews, the research finds that 88 percent of SNAP recipients report barriers to accessing healthy foods. Three in five… Read more »

Two policy opportunities to improve the re-entry system for returning citizens

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities notes that the American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan each offer policy opportunities to support incarcerated people’s re-entry into communities. Given the substantial evidence that re-entry is complicated by insufficient supports, legal barriers, and discrimination, these policies offer a chance to improve those support systems and reduce… Read more »