October 11, 2016

Latinos Suffer Disproportionately from Hunger and Poverty

Washington, D.C. – Data released by Bread for the World today shows that Latinos have much higher rates of poverty and food insecurity than the general population. In 2015, 19 percent of Latino households struggled to put food on the table, and 21 percent lived below the poverty line.

“Latinos are more likely to struggle to put food on the table and live in poverty than the general population,” said Bishop José García, director of church relations at Bread for the World. “We are also more likely to be paid sub-minimum wages and to endure sub-par working and living conditions. Although the situation is improving, it is still difficult for Latino families to make ends meet.”

While the hunger and poverty rates fell for every demographic group from the previous year, the rates for Latinos remained well above the national average. According to the data, 1 in 5 Latino households struggles to put food on the table – almost double the rate for white households. And Latino children are nearly twice as likely to lack access to nutritious food. In addition, 30 percent of households headed by an undocumented person and a startling 37 percent of female-headed Latino households live below the poverty line.

The higher rates of hunger and poverty among Latinos are direct results of racial and gender bias, and discrimination on the basis of immigration status. Contributing factors include low wages, less access to quality education, limited pathways to citizenship or legal status, higher healthcare costs, and higher levels of incarceration and deportation.

“Discrimination is still a substantial hurdle for many Latino families,” said García. “There are 55 million Latinos in the U.S. who are making significant contributions to our country. By passing comprehensive immigration reform, Congress would help to address some of these biases and give struggling families access to good-paying jobs, nutritious food, and better educational opportunities.”    

from our Resource Library

For Education

  • Election Resources

    One of the best times to raise the issues of hunger and poverty is during election campaigns. Engage candidates in your state/district on hunger and poverty using our elections resources.
  • 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. 

  • Conflict and Fragility Are Hunger Issues

    Conflict is a main driver of the recent increase in hunger around the world and of forced migration. Hunger also contributes to conflict.

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.

    The Bible on...

  • 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.

For Advocacy


African at Heart

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From the Blog