The Food Research Action Center (FRAC) hosted a webinar on October 25, 2023, entitled “The Pathway for Congress to Pass an Expanded Child Tax Credit”. Alex Ashbrook, the Director of Root Causes and Specific Populations at FRAC, opened the discussion by explaining that one in eight kids struggle with hunger, a jump from one in ten last year. The child tax credit is an important tool for combatting this, and Congress needs to act on that and pass the extended child tax credit.

FRAC’s recent research brief shows how the pandemic-prompted expanded child tax credit of 2021 contributed to a 26% decline in food insufficiency among households with children, and a 46% reduction in child poverty. That temporary expansion expired, and eighteen million children, including more than 90% of the children currently living in poverty, were ineligible for the full CTC, or any of it, in 2022.

Anna Aurilio, the Vice President of Political Strategy at Economic Security Project, reminded attendees that hunger and poverty are problems we know how to solve, and it’s simply a matter of implementing the solutions that decades of research have found and tested. The expanded CTC gives people the freedom to spend the money where they need, and research shows that they are using it for necessities. Polls show us that most of the American public on both sides of the aisle are in support of a permanent expanded child tax credit, and fourteen states have already implemented it in their state government. Passing a permanent extended child tax credit is an important step to ensuring that no American children go hungry.

By Rebekah Lawatsch, Policy Intern