19 July 2023 - United States

Food Prices Now Most Problematic Daily Cost Facing Americans - New Survey Finds

Food Pack US

Food distribution pack in 2022, photo: Jenée Tonelli / Save the Children

Washington, D.C. July 19, 2023 – Food prices are now the most problematic day-to-day cost facing Americans ahead of housing, healthcare and fuel prices, with growing demands for more to be done to tackle rising child hunger, according to new data from Save the Children.

A national poll by Save the Children Action Network reveals that 85% of people surveyed in the U.S. believe the government should be doing more to help families who are struggling to afford food. This comes as Congress debates a new Farm Bill that seeks to cut payments under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—formerly known as food stamps—, a federal programme that provides food assistance to low-income households, as well as disabled individuals and the elderly.

Soaring food prices, climate change, raging conflicts, and the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, have fueled the worst global hunger crisis in a century. Hunger is tightening its grip on all countries, including the U.S. More than 41 million Americans–or one in eight people–rely on SNAP income to afford food; many of whom are families with children.

Save the Children’s survey found that respondents thought a typical SNAP recipient receives a median of US$20 per day for food. When told that the actual number is about US$5.70 per family member per day, 66% of voters said that that amount should be increased.

The poll also found that half of people surveyed have a personal experience with SNAP—21% said someone in their household has received SNAP benefits at some point and another 27% said this applies to someone they know outside of their household. More than one in four people (28%) with incomes over US$100,000 know someone who has received SNAP benefits; this rapidly increases as incomes decline, rising to more than three in four people (78%) with incomes under US$25,000.

SNAP is viewed as a central component to alleviating hunger in the U.S., with 85% of people surveyed voting that SNAP is very (61%) or pretty (23%) important when it comes to helping families pay for food when they are facing food insecurity.

“For millions of Americans, the pandemic shed a bright light on child hunger and the kind of policies capable of addressing deep-rooted inadequacies of our country’s food assistance programmes. The Farm Bill carries huge implications for anti-hunger and anti-poverty measures because SNAP is the nation’s most critical and effective anti-hunger programme. It lifts millions of people out of poverty, boosts local economies, and effectively reaches people in greatest need.

“Save the children is committed to lifting up the broad spectrum of Republican, Democratic and Independent voices reflected in this survey to strengthen the SNAP programme, its benefits, and its reach with the Farm Bill,” said Christy Gleason, Executive Director of Save the Children Action Network.

When children go hungry, their physical, mental and educational development – as well as their likelihood to break the cycle of poverty – is severely hindered in the short- and long-term. That’s why Save the Children and Save the Children Action Network have worked tirelessly to combat the increasing rates of child hunger facing the country.

Full survey results can be viewed by clicking here.





The national survey was fielded May 31 - June 3, 2023 by New Bridge Strategy (R) and Hart Research (D). It includes 1,010 completed interviews among registered voters utilizing a nationwide online panel. Interviews were distributed proportionally across the country and quotas were set for key demographic subgroups, such as gender and age, based on census information. The credibility interval is +3.1% for the overall national sample; credibility intervals  for population subgroups within the sample will be higher. Due to rounding, not all totals will sum to 100%. 

Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) is the political advocacy arm of Save the Children, to be the political voice for kids. We work to ensure that the issues critical to children’s lives and futures are given top priority by our elected leaders, building bipartisan support to make sure every child has a strong start in life.

Learn more about SCAN here: https://savethechildrenactionnetwork.org/ 

Press contact: Suzanne Arnold, sarnold@savechildren.org



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