Report: 600K Michigan adults don’t have enough to eat

By: - September 26, 2020 8:26 am

Getty Images

A new report from Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan research institute, shows that 613,000 adults in Michigan — 9% of the state’s adults— say their household doesn’t have enough to eat. 

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey earlier this month also shows that 259,000 Michigan adults report that children living in these households also aren’t eating enough because the family can’t afford food.

Nationally, about 23 million adults — 10.5% of all adults — reported that their household sometimes or often had “not enough to eat” in the last seven days. 

Food insecurity is substantially greater for Black and Latinx adults who were more than twice as likely to report their household struggles with getting enough to eat (19% for Black respondents and 18% for Latinx respondents) than white respondents (7%).

Prior to the pandemic, 3.7% of adults in the U.S. reported that their household had “not enough to eat” over the full 12 months of 2019, according to a survey from the U.S. Agriculture Department.

“These data underscore the urgent need for federal policymakers to agree on further robust relief measures,” the authors of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report wrote. “The measures enacted earlier this year — such as expanded unemployment benefits and stimulus payments — mitigated hardship but were temporary and had significant shortcomings. Without a new relief package, hardship likely will rise and grow more severe, endangering children’s long-term health and educational outcomes.” 

Earlier this year, Congress passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act that provided COVID-19-related aid to states, extra support for unemployment and the first round of stimulus checks. 

However, in May, U.S. House Democrats introduced the $3 trillion HEROES Act, another COVID-19 relief package, which hasn’t seen the same swift motion to pass it, despite many leaders saying that families and local governments need another round of federal assistance to get through the financial hardships caused by the pandemic. 

The $600 federal supplement to weekly unemployment benefits expired in July, and the President Donald Trump’s executive action to extend a $300 weekly benefit was only in place for a handful of weeks due to lack of funding.

The report also found that roughly 13 million American adults are behind on rent.

Similarly to food insecurity, renters of color were more likely to report that their household was not caught up on rent.

About 25% of Black renters, 24% of Asian renters and 22% of Latinx renters said they were not caught up on rent, compared to just 12% of white renters.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention imposed a temporary moratorium on evictions through December, but struggling households aren’t provided with rental assistance for when the moratorium expires. 

“Households will still owe back rent and associated late fees, putting them at serious risk of eviction, unless policymakers reach an agreement on a relief package that provides rental assistance,” authors of the report wrote.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.