While we’ve all been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) have felt the weight especially acutely. The additional economic hardships caused by COVID-19 add to the systemic barriers already in place that prohibit BIPOC communities from thriving. This unequal impact can be seen in the levels of food insecurity experienced by BIPOC communities within our 53-county service area.
The U.S.Census Bureau found that the overall poverty rate in the United States in 2020 was 11.4%. That’s high, but nowhere near as severe as the levels of poverty experienced by Latino, Black, and Native American communities. For these groups, poverty rates were 17%, 19.5%, and 24.9% respectively. In comparison, the poverty rate for the non-Latino white population was 10.1%.
Among the many negative effects caused by living in poverty is food insecurity, defined by Feeding America as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life.” For some people, food insecurity can be temporary, as it might be for individuals who lost their job during the pandemic. For others, it is an ongoing, painful reality.
To learn more about the stark correlation between poor economic conditions and food insecurity across the U.S. and in our service area, continue reading.