Back in April, we wrote about how Americans were overwhelmingly using their stimulus checks to cover basic expenses and reduce their personal debt. Now, according to new census data, stimulus checks, in conjunction with expanded access to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, have led to a three percent drop in US hunger rates.
Hunger rates increased dramatically during the pandemic as people lost their jobs or fell ill. In December of 2020, 12 percent of Americans reported that they had not had enough to eat over the past week. With the help of stimulus checks, this has dropped to eight percent today, the lowest level since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to 2020 Census data, 80 percent of stimulus check recipients spent their first check on food. The expansion of SNAP benefits, as well as expanded access to subsidized school lunches and unemployment benefits, has demonstrated what many have been advocating for years: that giving stimulus money to society’s most vulnerable increases access to tangible daily necessities.
This is not only great news for the thousands of families no longer facing hunger, but also further evidence into the efficacy of guaranteed income programs for low-income citizens.