Families and individuals are working hard but face numerous challenges outside their control, such as
inadequate wages, inequitable economic growth, and lack of access to affordable housing, health care, sufficient disability benefits, and other needed support systems. These obstacles — often driven and exacerbated by systemic racial and other inequities — can increase rates of hunger. As effective as the federal nutrition programs are, they cannot end hunger alone. Additional strong federal investments are needed to address these and other root causes of hunger.

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) expansion included in the American Rescue Plan is such an investment. It has bolstered efforts to address hunger and its root causes — most notably poverty — by providing a lifeline for families with children to put food on the table; pay housing expenses, debts, and child care; and supplement lost wages due to the pandemic.