Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

New Census Data Shows Supplemental Poverty Rate Dropped from 11.8% to 9.1% from 2019-20 Due to Safety Net Boost

Government Food Aid & Cash Benefits Shown to Decrease Poverty & Hunger Despite Economic Crisis During Pandemic

"Latest Data Bolsters Proof that a Strong Social Safety Net Works to Lift Tens of Millions out of Poverty & Hunger"
WASHINGTON -

The U.S. Census Bureau released new data today showing that the supplemental poverty rate fell from 11.8 percent to 9.1 percent from 2019 to 2020 despite the health and economic crises caused by Covid-19. This huge drop in poverty can be attributed to the federal government’s boost to the social safety net including an increase to SNAP benefits and unemployment insurance in addition to stimulus payments and the creation of the Pandemic-EBT program to provide food aid to families with school-aged children.

Today’s announcement provides further evidence that an expanded social safety net keeps tens of millions of people out of poverty and hunger. USDA released data last week showing that there was a 9-percent increase in food insecurity among Americans from 2019 to 2020 – a percentage that would have been much higher if the federal government had not stepped in and provided necessary assistance to families in need.

In response to these findings, Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a national direct service and advocacy nonprofit organization, said:

“The fact that the supplemental poverty rate dropped during the Covid-19 crisis is a huge victory for advocates of expanding the social safety net. Hunger Free America has long advocated for stronger federal benefits, and the latest data bolsters proof that a strong social safety net works to lift tens of millions out of poverty and hunger. Despite 38 million Americans still struggling with food insecurity in 2020, the expansion of SNAP benefits and unemployment insurance in addition to stimulus checks and the Pandemic-EBT program, kept tens of millions of Americans from falling into poverty. The federal government should continue to build upon this momentum by strengthening the social safety net in addition to raising the federal minimum wage so that working families can afford their basic living expenses.”

###

Hunger Free America is a nonpartisan, national nonprofit group working to enact the policies and programs needed to end domestic hunger and ensure that all Americans have sufficient access to nutritious food.

'Protest Works': Cheers as Shell Signals Pullout of Cambo Oil Field Project

"We have to see the end of North Sea projects as well as all new fossil fuel extraction: There is no future in them."

Julia Conley ·


Groups Say Congress Should Reject Biden's Harmful Sentencing Proposal on Fentanyl-Related Drugs

"The facts don't support the argument that a harsh law enforcement approach, such as permanent classwide scheduling of fentanyl-related substances, will curb drug distribution, sale, and use."

Andrea Germanos ·


AOC Laments How Accused Predator Kavanaugh Ready to Rule on 'Whether to Legalize Forced Birth in the US'

The congresswoman suggested Justice Brett Kavanaugh should recuse himself from Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, considering multiple sexual assault allegations against him that the FBI failed to investigate.

Julia Conley ·


Biden Rebuked for Plan to Implement 'Even Worse' Version of Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' Policy

"The Biden administration must stop hiding behind a flawed court order to justify" the abuse of asylum seekers, said one immigrant rights advocate.

Kenny Stancil ·


Progressive Coalition to Schumer: No More Cuts to Popular Build Back Better Bill

"Now is the moment to do everything in your power to ensure that we get the best, most inclusive, reconciliation bill possible across the finish line."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo