HONOLULU (KITV4) - Angie Solomon recently became a single mother of two, dependent on an extra $500-a-month in child tax credit payments to make ends meet.
"We're living paycheck to paycheck. The cost of food has significantly gone up in the last few months," she said. "The child tax credit has been extremely valuable in ... addressing just the basic needs of my family as a single parent."
Under the American Rescue Plan, families with children under 18 received a credit of up to $3,600, or up to $300s a month per child from July through December.
"In Hawaii, more than half of the families that got the Child Tax Credit spent it on food. And the second highest thing that they spent their money on was on rent and utilities. And the third thing was clothing," said Nicole Woo, director of research and economic policy at the Hawaii Children's Action Network. "So they're spending it on really important essentials for their children."
With no end in sight to the rising cost of food and other necessities, Solomon's now looking to cut costs where ever she can.
"We've cut down significantly already on meat," Solomon said. "Cutting off our cable, but continuing the internet. Just really looking hard at our bottom line."
The state's economy was one of the hardest hit as tourism dried up during the pandemic. Many families still need the extra help, according to the Hawaii Children's Action Network.
"Our working families are suffering and they're still struggling," Woo said.
Families can get the second half of the tax credit when they file their 2021 tax returns next year.