Washington D.C. – Yesterday, parents and caregivers with the Economic Security Project and early childhood non-profit ZERO TO THREE’s Think Babies™ initiative gathered outside White House grounds in advance of the Biden administration’s upcoming Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. At the event, family advocates called for policymakers in Washington to immediately reinstate the American Rescue Plan’s expanded, monthly Child Tax Credit (CTC), which served as one of the most effective means in cutting hunger in a generation.
To see photos of the gathering in front of the White House, visit this link.
The energized group of parents held signs saying “Hungry for Child Tax Credit” and “The Future Begins with Babies.” When Congress passed the expanded Child Tax Credit last year, more than 3.7 million children were lifted from poverty nationwide. Prior to the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health – the first event of its kind in over fifty years – the United States Census Bureau released new data confirming that while the expanded Child Tax Credit was in place, child poverty rates dropped by 46% to a historic low of 5.2%. President Biden recently made a critical observation when he called the Child Tax Credit “unfinished business” and included it in the White House Economic Blueprint. More must be done, however, to make sure the monthly Child Tax Credit is reinstated this year.
Natalie Foster, Co-Chair and Co-Founder of the Economic Security Project:
“Conversation around cutting hunger must include the expanded Child Tax Credit. The expanded Child Tax Credit was – and still is – the most effective means of reducing poverty and hunger and the fact that our leaders would discuss cutting taxes again for corporations without fully committing to reinstating the credit is nearsighted at best and irresponsible at worst. We know now through the data from the Census Bureau that the expanded CTC simply works – both as a means to cover basic needs and bring food to the table. Poverty is a policy choice, and so is child hunger.”
Miriam Calderón, Chief Policy Officer at ZERO TO THREE:
“It is absolutely crucial for the White House’s Conference on Hunger for Washington to consider the most effective means in cutting hunger for working families, and that’s why families were at the White House today pushing for a permanent reinstatement of the expanded Child Tax Credit as soon as possible. Out of all our basic needs, food costs have risen the most, and we know that the expanded CTC had a real impact in alleviating hunger and relieving stress. Parents from across the nation are raising their voices, calling on our leaders to enact policies that support our babies and toddlers. We owe it to our families to do everything in our power to help them, and our elected officials owe it to them to reinstate the expanded Child Tax Credit at once.”
Karla from Tempe, AZ, Strolling Thunder family advocate with Think Babies:
“As a mom and a student, I utilized most of last year’s expanded Child Tax Credit on buying food for my family, an area in my budget that has often been supplemented by food banks or cutting out other essentials. The flexibility of the money meant that I could buy food on campus (where my EBT card is not accepted tender), without sacrificing study time or time with my children to shop at places that were less convenient to our lives.”
Sofia from Hampton, NH, Strolling Thunder family advocate with Think Babies:
“When deciding between insanely priced gas, rent, and utilities, food has to come last, and it is not affordable. Period. We penalize children for being poor. How can we continue to let them go hungry?”
While in place, the expanded Child Tax Credit was one of the most effective means in cutting hunger, especially in families of color. According to U.S. Census data from August 2021, after the first expanded CTC check, food insecurity dropped dramatically for Black and LatinX families from 15.6% to 11.8% and 15.7% to 10.1% respectively, representing nearly one third drop. Data from the Census Bureau this year found that since the expanded CTC’s expiration in December 2021, two-thirds of families slipped back into food insecurity as food was one of the primary expenses that recipients spent the monthly checks on.
The CTC expired due to opposition from Republicans and one moderate Democrat who opposed the broader Build Back Better reconciliation package which would have continued the payments for an additional year. Senate Democrats are eying a year-end package extending tax credits from previous administrations as a final opportunity to reinstate the expanded Child Tax Credit before the end of the year.
To see photos of the demonstrations, visit the link here.
For more information about the Economic Security Project, visit: https://www.economicsecurityproject.org/.
Updated U.S. Census data detailing the Child Tax Credit’s effect on poverty rates can be found here: https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2022/09/record-drop-in-child-poverty.html