February 15, 2017

Despite Gains, African-Americans Still Disproportionately Affected by Hunger and Poverty

Washington, D.C. – Over the past year, African-Americans have seen significant decreases in hunger and poverty levels, with a nearly 5 percentage point drop in hunger alone. Much of these declines are due to effective federal policy and strong community leadership. However, much more must be done.

Bread for the World recently released a new graphic, I Still Rise, highlighting African-American contributions to ending hunger and poverty over the past century. “African-Americans have always been at the forefront of the struggle against hunger and poverty,” said Eric Mitchell, director of government relations at Bread for the World.

Despite the recent gains, and the contributions made historically, African-Americans are still more likely to suffer from hunger and poverty than other Americans, according to a new analysis by Bread for the World. Almost 50 percent of all black children younger than 6 live in poverty—more than three times the proportion of young white children. Unemployment and low wages, lack of access to healthy and affordable food, poor schools, and higher incarceration rates are just a few of the factors that contribute to this problem.

“Unemployment and a lack of good-paying jobs are primary causes,” Mitchell added. “But we must also address factors like mass incarceration, inadequate school funding, and poor health caused by a lack of access to nutritious foods if we want to solve the problem.”

While African-Americans make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, they represent 22 percent of those experiencing poverty and hunger. The median income of African-American households is nearly $20,000 less than general households, which makes African-American households twice as likely to experience poverty. This number is even higher for female-headed households, who are almost three times as likely to live below the poverty line.

Mitchell concluded, “African-American leadership has been key to the progress we have made so far. Now, as much as ever, African-Americans must continue to play a leading role so that these gains are not lost.”  

 

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

  • The Nourishing Effect

    Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.

  • Ending U.S. Hunger and Poverty by Focusing on Communities Where it’s Most Likely

    By Marlysa D. Gamblin

    Some people in the United States are at least twice as likely as the general U.S. population to be hungry and/or experiencing poverty. They belong to some of the country’s major demographic groups: African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, households led by...

  • Fact Sheet: The Hunger-Medicaid Connection

    Congress is considering proposals that would jeopardize healthcare coverage for millions of poor and near-poor adults and children. 

    The bill under consideration, the American Health Care Act, would gut...

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.

    Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.

  • Bread Newsletter January 2016

    In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
     

  • Interfaith Religious Leaders’ Pledge to End Hunger

    A wide array of the nation’s faith leaders have come together on the eve of Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States to commit ourselves to encourage our communities to work for the end of hunger by 2030 and, toward that end, for a shift in U.S. national priorities.

    We are deeply pleased...

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.

    ...

  • Fact Sheet: The Hunger-Medicaid Connection

    Congress is considering proposals that would jeopardize healthcare coverage for millions of poor and near-poor adults and children. 

    The bill under consideration, the American Health Care Act, would gut...

  • Bingo card for the presidential and vice presidential debates

    Play bingo while you watch the presidential and vice presidential debates!

    We want to elect leaders who make ending hunger and poverty a priority, so we are encouraging candidates to talk about these...