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Washington, D.C. –Louisiana houses some of the hungriest and poorest number of Americans, according to a Bread for the World analysis of the latest U.S. Census data. Over 49 million Americans were at risk of hunger and 45 million Americans lived in poverty last year.
American Community Survey data shows that 16.5 percent of Louisiana households were at risk of hunger last year.
“With families on average still earning $4,500 less than before the recession, the road to recovery and freedom from food insecurity will continue to be an arduous one,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World.
In Louisiana, 19 percent of residents lived in poverty. According to Bread’s analysis, the state also had one of the highest participation rates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). Congress had proposed cutting funding for SNAP 13 times last year despite the program helping move 3.7 million Americans out of poverty.
Children continued to be a segment of the population that was most vulnerable to hunger and poverty. Last year the state saw more than 1 in 4 children living in poverty, which included 91,129 children under the age of 6.
“Federal safety-net programs prevent children from going to bed hungry and allow their parents to continue to look for work. We need to vote for leaders who are committed to ending hunger and poverty and hold them accountable once in office,” concluded Beckmann.
These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C.
With the coronavirus now spreading in low-resource contexts and new waves of infection expected in the coming year, better nutrition for vulnerable people is more important than ever.
“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.
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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition in the fiscal year 2020 budget.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.