According to data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, twenty-five percent of African American households, compared to eleven percent of White households, suffered from food insecurity in 2009. Households that are food insecure are those that struggle to put food on the table at any point in the year. Nearly 35 percent of African-American children live in households that are food insecure.
“The national figures are record-breaking, but the fact that such a disparity exists between African-Americans and Whites shows that we must call on Congress to do more—especially for communities with the greatest need,” Rev. Derrick Boykin, northeast regional organizer for Bread for the World, said. “Congress must act now to ensure that programs designed to mitigate hunger are well-funded.”
Nationally, 14.7 percent, or one in seven, of U.S. households experienced food insecurity last year.
Coincidentally, there has been a record increase in usage of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. African-Americans are amongst the 22.6 percent of 42 million Americans who receive SNAP benefits each month. It is predicted that 90 percent of African-Americans will receive SNAP benefits at some point before the age of 20. Nationally, only 49 percent of all U.S. children, regardless of ethnic background, are predicted to receive it.
Bread for the World is a faith-based organization that works to influence national decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.