Fact Sheet: Hunger and Poverty in the African-American Community

February 26, 2018
Almost 50 percent of all black children younger than 6 live in poverty. Photo: Joe Molieri / Bread for the World

While hunger declined from 2017 for the general U.S. population, African Americans experienced a one percent increase, an increase of 153,000 African American households.

Unfortunately, African Americans are still more likely to be food-insecure than other Americans.

This condition is a direct result of poverty, and racial and gender discrimination. While the United States has an overall poverty rate of 12.7 percent, according to the U.S. Census, within the African American community, the poverty rate is 22 percent. This rate is even higher in African-American female-headed households at 34.2 percent.

Unemployment and low wages, less access to quality and affordable education, higher healthcare costs, and higher levels of incarceration are among the factors that contribute to hunger and poverty in the African-American community.

African Americans represent 22.5 percent of those who are experiencing poverty and hunger, according to the U.S. Census. With advocacy for the right policies, we can reduce these numbers and numbers and end hunger in this community.

Almost 50 percent of all black children younger than 6 live in poverty

Economic Policy Institute

from our Resource Library

For Education

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.


  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...


Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017


The Jobs Challenge

April 10, 2018

From the Blog