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Giving Compass' Take:
• Sam Bloch summarizes a study on the impact of COVID-19 on dramatically increasing hunger rates in America, which disproportionately impact marginalized communities.
• How were hunger rates already higher for historically marginalized communities before COVID-19? What are you doing to support systemic efforts to correct these discrepancies? How can you help those without food during the pandemic?
The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically worsened America’s hunger crisis—a devastating shift that disproportionately impacts people of color, women, and children.
According to a new report commissioned by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), as of July, the number of people who said they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat has skyrocketed to 29 million, or 11 percent of adults in the United States. (By comparison, 8 million adults, or around 4 percent, did not have enough to eat in 2018.) In 38 states and Washington, D.C., more than one in ten adults with children had inadequate amounts of food, with the highest rates of hunger in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
Now, new data from the Census Bureau, referenced in the report, shows that even America’s middle class is now reckoning with hunger. Two years ago, only 3 percent of adults earning between $50,000 and $75,000 a year said they did not have enough to eat; during the pandemic, that rose to 8 percent. Similarly, 5 percent of adults earning between $35,000 and $50,000 reported that hunger in 2018; now, it is 12 percent.
“These are folks who had fairly steady incomes,” says Luis Giardia, president of FRAC, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. “And now, all of a sudden, they’re visiting food banks.”
Before the pandemic, there were already stark disparities among ethnic groups, with Black people surveyed more than three times as likely as white and Asian respondents to go hungry. But the Census data reveals that those rates have worsened. During the pandemic, 42 percent of those without enough to eat are white, followed by 27 percent Latinx, 22 percent Black, and 3 percent Asian—statistics that show Black and Latinx people of color are disproportionately affected, based on their representation within the U.S. population.
Read the full article about hunger rates by Sam Bloch at The Counter.