Fact Sheet: Hunger and Poverty in the African American Community

September 30, 2018
Almost 50 percent of all black children younger than 6 live in poverty. Photo: Joe Molieri / Bread for the World

While hunger and poverty declined among African Americans in 2017 (most recent available data), food insecurity has still not dropped enough this past year to match the one percent increase African Americans saw in 2016.

Consequently, an additional 56,0001 African Americans are still food insecure compared to 2015 numbers. While this is lower than the 187,000 additional African Americans who fell into hunger in 2016, targeted policies that prioritize racial and gender equity need to be implemented to reduce hunger at faster rates.

The higher rates of poverty and hunger among African Americans are direct results of systemic inequity through racial and gender discrimination. While the United States has an overall poverty rate of 12.3 percent, according to the U.S. Census, within the African American community, the poverty rate is 21.2 percent. This rate is even higher in African American female-headed households at 30.3 percent.

African American leaders on the local, state, national, and international levels continue to do their part to fight hunger and poverty in their communities.

African Americans are two times as likely as whites to face very low food security

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

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