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 tradeoffs:
- 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 also classify as food insecure, illustrating that struggling families have difficulty not only meeting their basic needs but their need for food as well.