The Pandemic Left Single Moms Struggling Even More – Here Are 4 Resources They Can Use to Recover
It’s clear that single mothers were struggling long before the pandemic. And with the health crisis easing up, the challenges continue.
The US Census Bureau reports that there were about 11,016,000 single-parent families in 2021, almost 80% of which are led by single mothers. Unfortunately, this demographic was hard-hit by the pandemic. One third of these families are living in poverty and half are food insecure.
To help their families survive, these single mothers visited food pantries for their daily meals, and sometimes spent more than half of their income on housing.
Living as a single mother isn’t easy, which is why various resources have been created to address their needs. Here’s a look at different programs that can help single mothers recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic:
Hunger Relief programs
The USDA’s report highlights food insecurity as one of the biggest challenges that single-parent households face.
The good news is that there are organizations that are working to lift single mothers and children from food insecurity. To illustrate, our food rescue program provides free, fresh, healthy food to soup kitchens, homeless and women’s shelters, schools and other diverse organizations that reach single mothers and others in need in the community. Over two decades, working hand in hand with this community, Table to Table has delivered more than 96,000 tons of food to feed Northern New Jersey residents, free of charge, including single mothers and single parent families.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The USDA ensures access to nutritious food while helping to pave a pathway to long-term success via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is also referred to as SNAP. It provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency. To get SNAP benefits, you must apply in the state in which you currently live and you must meet certain requirements, including resource and income limits, which are described on this page. SNAP income and resource limits are updated annually.
Due to rising unemployment rates, it is even more difficult for single mothers to afford adequate housing for their families. Small rentals can be difficult for families with growing children, and houses are becoming more expensive as inflation and interest rates rise.
To help low-income families, the US HUD has developed grants for rental assistance and subsidized housing. In fact, the subsidized housing project is the most common assistance program for single-parent families since the government directly pays the landlords to reduce the rent.
It is extremely difficult for single mothers to balance professional responsibilities and household tasks at the same time. As such, childcare benefits can go a long way in supporting single parents as they pursue their professional development while raising children.
Governor Phil Murphy recently announced that $700 million will be invested to assist parents in paying for childcare services. This is hugely beneficial for single mothers, as it allows single mothers to pursue work and education opportunities while ensuring their children’s safety.
The pandemic proved to be a challenge for many, but particularly for vulnerable single mothers.
Table to Table has always worked within our local community to provide assistance to those who are in need. But during these extraordinary times, awareness of all the resources available is necessary for so many, and it is hoped that those listed above will go a long way in ensuring food, housing, and childcare assistance for single mothers who want to get back on their feet. To support Table to Table’s work to address food insecurity, please visit our website for the rest of our programs.
Article written by Reese Jones
Exclusively submitted to tabletotable.org