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Expanded child tax credit helped fight hunger, report finds

Parents who received expanded child tax credit payments experienced less food insecurity than those who didn’t, according to a report by the Urban Institute

Child tax credit payments were part of the American Rescue Plan, a Biden administration pandemic-relief program, as Fatherly reported. Payments of up to $300 per month per child were sent to families with qualifying dependents from July to December last year.

According to data compiled from the Urban Institute’s Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey, rates of food insecurity dropped from 26.1% to 20% during the months the payments were sent. 

Researchers also found that employment rates between those who got payments and those who didn’t were roughly the same.

“Although some have worried providing the maximum benefit of the CTC to all families might reduce employment, our findings do not suggest this occurred in the near term,” Elaine Maag, a senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said in a statement, Fatherly reported. “Overall, we see the temporary credits were associated with reduced food insecurity among families with children, without any immediate changes in work effort.”

The Biden administration attempted to extend the monthly payments in light of inflation and other economic pressures, but the Build Back Better Act was ultimately derailed and the beefed-up tax credit expired.