ABSTRACT

Has Hunger Swelled?   [open pdf - 915KB]

From the Executive Summary: "The coronavirus pandemic threatened to increase hardship among US households after efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] through pervasive social distancing and the declaration of a national emergency in March. Economic activity dramatically diminished, and unemployment initially soared. While federal policymakers acted quickly to shore up the safety net, researchers have argued that food hardship spiked in late March and April and then remained elevated. Claims that food hardship has tripled or worse have led to calls for equally unprecedented expansions to safety-net programs. This report shows that such claims are unsupported and result from researchers comparing recent survey estimates to earlier ones from incomparable surveys. We estimate that food insufficiency has increased by 2 or 3 percentage points and stands a bit higher than during the Great Recession. Policymakers' efforts to mitigate hardship have been more successful than critics acknowledge, and future decisions should not assume that hardship is as severe as studies have suggested."

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2020-10
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2020 American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
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American Enterprise Institute: https://www.aei.org/
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