The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

My short-term goal was to fill up my deep freezer for the winter. It’s January and my freezer is still empty. I don’t understand how I am denied food stamps because I am “over income” but I can’t put food in my freezer.

Banking

A significant segment of the American population remains either unbanked (i.e. without a checking or savings account) or underbanked (i.e. having a bank account but also relying on alternative financial services). In 2009, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation(FDIC) reported that one in four U.S. households are either unbanked or underbanked – representing approximately 60 million adults. Instead of performing financial transactions in the traditional banking system, the unbanked and underbanked often depend on the more costly alternative financial sector, which consists of pawnshops, payday and short-term lenders, tax preparers, check cashing establishments, and rent-to-own facilities.

Current Issue

Many families are hesitant to participate in traditional banking for fear of hidden fees and minimum balance requirements.

Bank on Philadelphia is a unique partnership with banks to provide no-fee accounts for low-income families. It is important for all community-based organizations and social services agencies to know about and refer families to these banking opportunities.

 

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