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

  • Feed the Future

    Feed the Future, launched in 2010, grew out of the U.S. response, led by President George W. Bush, to the 2007-2008 global food price crisis. Prices of basic foods doubled or tripled in some countries and pushed an additional 150 million people into hunger and malnutrition.

  • 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. 

  • Hunger and Poverty in the African-American Community

    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.

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...

Field

Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017

Insight

The Jobs Challenge

April 10, 2018

From the Blog