Fewer children faced food insecurity last year, but older Americans faced more food insecurity

About 6.2% of households with children, or 2.3 million, have failed to provide their children with adequate nutritious meals last year, compared with 7.6% in 2020, the report said. pointing out. Last year’s percentage was not significantly different from 2019’s share.

But it wasn’t all good news.

Older Americans living alone experienced increased food insecurity. This percentage rose from 8.3% for him in 2020 to 9.5% last year.

Food insecurity among childless households also rose from 8.8% in 2020 to 9.4% last year. The proportion of women living alone jumped to 13.2% from 11% the previous year.

Overall, however, the proportion of households facing food insecurity will remain statistically the same in 2021 as in the previous year. About 10.2%, or 13.5 million households, were food insecure last year, according to the annual report.

Further support for families with children

The USDA hasn’t delved into the drivers behind the change in food insecurity, but experts say: Enhanced Child Tax Credit as the main reason for the decline last year among children and their families.
as part of American Rescue Planning ActThe bill, which Congress passed in March 2021, gave tens of millions of families monthly payments of up to $300 per child from July to December.

The relief package has increased the maximum credit for 2021 to $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for ages 6 to 17.

We also made it possible to refund the credit in full, so lowest income household I was able to qualify. Half of the credit was distributed last year, and families were able to claim the other half when they filed their 2021 tax returns this year.
Studies have shown that families spend more money on essentials, but the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse survey reports that parents have less trouble paying for food and household expenses. I understand after the first installment received.

Diane Whitmore-Schanzenbach, director of the Northwestern University Institute for Policy Studies, said the increased payments “make sure they have the resources they use every month.”

of economic recovery When strong job market It also allows families to put food on the table, she added.

Food insecurity decreased across households with children, couples with children and single mothers with children. It also decreased in Black and Southern households, which were more food insecure in 2020.

Increased hunger among the elderly and childless

According to James Zilliac, director of the Center for Poverty Research at the University of Kentucky, 2021 Social Security benefits did not reflect the price increases in food and other commodities that began last year, resulting in food insecurity among seniors living alone. It is possible that it has increased. .

The annual cost of living adjustment is Only 1.3% For 2021, this equates to about $20 per month, was 5.9% This year, inflation began to rise.

He noted that although the unemployment rate fell last year, millions of Americans left the workforce. Some may not have children, but are finding it difficult to get support from the government.

“There’s not a lot of support in the safety net for childless people,” Zilliac said.

Concerns for 2022

Improvements in family food security may not continue into 2022, experts warn.

high inflationIn particular, food costs are a burden on household budgets. grocery prices The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a surge of 13.1% in the 12 months to July.

At the same time, the enhanced child tax credit, which includes monthly payments, was not renewed this year. And more states are ending enhanced food stamp benefits enacted at the start of the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, the 2022 report may not be as optimistic for families with children,” said Ziliak.

Source: www.cnn.com

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