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