I am pleased to be able to share with you the Maryland Food Bank’s latest research brief, A Research Guide to Child Food Insufficiency, produced by their Strategy Group. The report examines COVID-19’s ongoing impact on children while also highlighting the effectiveness of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) — a federal program that expired at the end of December 2021 — for Maryland families.

You can find the full report on their website here.

While it’s difficult to measure the Child Tax Credit program’s specific role in mitigating food insufficiency, their data shows that the program did make a substantial difference. The report, which was prepared by Maryland Food Bank’s Vice President of Learning, Measurement, and Evaluation, Daniel Sturm, also showed that:

  • More than two in five families (45%) said that their children were often or sometimes not eating enough because the food was not affordable.
  • The Child Tax Credit Program helped mitigate household expenses (food being the number one expense). One in two Maryland households (50%) who received Child Tax Credit payments used the extra cash for food (groceries, eating out, and takeout).
  • Families in the lowest income bracket (below $35,000) experienced the highest degree of adversity. Almost one in three families reported challenges stemming from food insufficiency during June 2021-January 2022. The trend line peaked in late August 2021 (40%) and in early December 2021 (53%).
  • As of February 2022, the percentage of Maryland children receiving food assistance is 46.5% (after peaking at 50.8% in October 2021).

With the end of the Child Tax Credit and rapidly rising costs of living, organizations like the Maryland Food Bank and Baltimore Hunger Project are needed now more than ever to help Maryland families feed their children.