Electric and Food Security

Low-Income Energy Burden

If you’re like most Americans, you probably flip light switches on and off in your home with little thought. A reliable supply of electricity is a basic expectation when looking for a place to call home.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Low-Income Energy Affordability Data (LEAD) Tool the national average energy burden for low-income households is 8.6%, three times higher than for non-low-income households which is estimated at 3%. In some areas, depending on location and income, energy burden can be as high as 30%.

Beyond its importance for keeping the lights on, electricity is used for everything from cooling and heating, water heaters, appliances like washers and dryers, refrigeration as well as charging the small electronic devices that we’re so dependent on.

It’s difficult to imagine life without something that we’re all so accustomed to. If you’ve ever experienced a power outage, then you know that the novelty of using candles and lanterns to light your home wears off quickly.

The NeighborRelief platform is helping families avoid electricity shutoffs that would otherwise threaten their stability.

Food Security

Despite being one of the wealthiest developed countries on earth, the U.S. continues to have a significant food security issue. This was even the case prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though food insecurity was at its lowest level since the Great Recession, it still effected over 35 million people.

The largest hunger-relief organization in the United States, Feeding America, estimates that 17 million people in the U.S. could become food insecure as a result of the pandemic, bringing the total number to more than 54 million people, including 18 million children.

Food insecurity and poor nutrition are associated with several chronic illnesses that put people at higher risk for other illnesses. The food insecurity crisis only exacerbates the disparities in health outcomes for low-income people and children.

NeighborRelief has partnered with major grocery chains to provide direct support in the form of gift cards for neighbors in need.