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Washington, D.C. – Hunger and poverty among Hispanic households declined last year, according to a Bread for the World analysis released today. The findings, based on the latest U.S. Census data, show that one of the biggest contributing factors to this decline is a decrease in unemployment. Unemployment fell from 8.1 percent in 2012 to 7.4 percent in 2013.
“Job creation and fair wages are the cornerstones to ending hunger in this country,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “By allowing everyone the opportunity to earn more money, we allow them to make larger contributions to the economy.”
Despite the decline, Hispanics continue to be disproportionately affected by hunger with 23.7 percent of Hispanic households suffering from food insecurity compared to the national average of 14.3 percent. Poverty reflects similar patterns with 24.8 percent of the Hispanic population living in poverty compared to the national average of 14.5 percent.
“It is really moving to see families finally start to make their way out of the hole the recession has put us in, but it weighs heavily on my heart that in the Hispanic community, 4 million children are not sure if they will be going to bed hungry even though their parents work two or sometimes three jobs,” said Beckmann.
Foreign-born Hispanics face higher rates of poverty and wage disparities than U.S.-born Hispanics due to the advantages of citizenship, such as access to higher education and better-paying jobs.
“Hispanics are the largest ethnic minority group in the United States, yet voter turnout continues to lag,” said Beckmann. “We all need to go out and vote for leaders who will continue to create jobs and fair wages for all people in this country.”
By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Kathleen King
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