African-Americans Disproportionately Affected by Food Insecurity

Over 25 percent of Black households battle with hunger.

Posted: 06/07/2013 10:47 AM EDT

Among the many racial disparities in America, food insecurity stands out as an issue African-Americans continue to battle. Twenty-five percent of Black households lack access to enough food to build a healthy lifestyle, according to Feeding America's "Map the Meal Gap" study to be released on Monday.

African-American households are twice as likely to face food insecurity as white, non-Hispanic homes. Also, one in three Black children are affected by hunger, according to Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief charity. 

Of the 104 U.S. counties with a majority Black population, 92 percent of them have food insecurity. Most of these counties are concentrated in Southern states such as Mississippi, Alabama, Virginia, Georgia and Louisiana. 

“Poverty and unemployment are the two major drivers for food insecurity,” Emily Engelhard, director of social policy research and analysis for Feeding America, told theGrio. “High poverty and unemployment disproportionately affects African-Americans.”

theGrio reports:

Engelhard says the number of people who are food insecure drastically increased in 2008 due in large part to the crash in the housing market and the economic downturn.

"We saw a huge jump in food insecurity levels nationwide in 2008; it went from 36 percent to 49 percent," Ross Fraser, director of media relations for Feeding America, tells theGrio.

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(Photo: Andersen Ross/GettyImages)

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