Food Insecurity Reaches Five Month High as Child Tax Credit Payments End

(Bloomberg) – Hunger is on the rise this holiday season, and the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that more than 21 million Americans didn’t have enough to eat in early December as aid payments run out for food. pandemic and grocery prices go up.

Low-income families may soon face further pressure with the end of monthly child tax credit payments and the Senate bogged down in legislation to extend the program backed by President Joe Biden.

The number of households in which there was sometimes or often not enough to eat reached 9.7% this month, a high of five months, according to data collected between December 1 and 13 by the Pulse Survey of US Census Bureau households That number for households with children dropped from 11% to 7.8% in August, after the first monthly payments of the child tax credit came out.

Read more: What Families Are Really Using Child Tax Credit Payments For

Grocery prices in the US were up 6.4% from the prior year. Food banks are also seeing an increase in demand, and clinics aimed at helping malnourished and malnourished children have seen an increase in patients.

Child tax credit payments serve as an advance on the tax return received by two-parent households earning less than $ 150,000 per year. Parents receive $ 300 per month for each child under the age of 6 and $ 250 per month for each child under 18 years of age. Households that earn more than that get less credit. Most parents have reported using the cash infusions in the middle of the month for food, according to Census Bureau surveys between July and September. Studies have found that making permanent payments could significantly reduce child poverty.

The last of the scheduled payments for the extended child tax credit was sent on December 15. The Build Back Better Act includes language that would extend payments through 2022. However, the bill’s status is up in the air, after Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, said Sunday that he would not vote for he.

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