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

  • 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

Faith

African at Heart

November 22, 2019

Insight

The Africa they want

February 21, 2020

From the Blog