In Short Supply: Everyday Essentials

In Short Supply - Struggle to supply every day essentials.

In 2013, Feeding America, in partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign released In Short Supply: American Families Struggle to Secure Everyday Essentials.  One in three low-income American families struggles to afford basic non-food household goods—including products related to personal care, household care, and baby care—and, as a result, make trade-offs with other living expenses and employ coping strategies to secure essential household goods. Over the last 12 months, families reported the following coping strategies and budget trade-offs:

  • 39% of families brushed their teeth without toothpaste.
  • 40% of families skipped or delayed paying rent.
  • 44% of families delayed changing a diaper.
  • 49% of families cut back on medical expenses.
  • 64% of families skipped or delayed paying utility bills.
  • 74% of families skipped washing dishes or doing laundry.

In Short Supply also found that more than 4 out of 5 families unable to afford basic necessities are also classified as food insecure, illustrating that struggling families have difficulty not only meeting their basic needs but their need for food as well.

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