Despite the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, some 1.7 million children have pulled out of poverty thanks to the safety net programs that have been established across California, and the United States.
In 2021, out of the 1.7 million children – or 1 in 5 – 1.23 million were well above the poverty line, including 820,000 fewer kids were in deep poverty. The California Poverty Measure estimates that the share of children in poverty went from 17.6% in 2019 to 9.0% in 2021.
Safety net programs are designed to address immediate economic needs whilst meeting elevated needs during economic crises. Among the largest poverty-mitigating program, there was CalFresh nutrition assistance which pulled some 410,000 children out of poverty. The Child Tax Credit (CTC) – a temporary 2021 federal advance providing monthly payments to families with children – helped pull 380,000 kids out of poverty. Both programs reached their target: CalFresh reached 35% of California’s kids and added an annual average of $7,550 to families, and the CTC reached 92% of poor citizens, granting an average of $5,273 on a yearly basis.