Washington, DC, September 18, 2012
Bread for the World today released its annual analysis of hunger and poverty in the Latino community. The analysis shows Hispanic families are more likely to suffer from hunger and poverty than any other group.
“It is unacceptable that one in three Hispanic children is at risk of hunger in the world’s wealthiest nation,” said Ricardo Moreno, Bread for the World’s national associate for Latino relations. “People must become aware of the pressing need to end hunger in this country, especially among Hispanics, who are now more than 16 percent of the population.”
Thirty-four percent of Latino households with children struggle to put food on the table, according to “Hunger and Poverty in the Hispanic Community,” compared to about 22 percent of U.S. households with children overall. And a shocking 36 percent of all Hispanic children live in poverty, compared to 25 percent of U.S. children overall.
These figures could be much worse if it were not for government safety net programs. Federal nutrition programs like SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps), WIC (the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children), and school meal programs have helped keep more people from going hungry, despite the nation's soaring poverty and unemployment rates. Thirty-five percent of Latinos are eligible for SNAP benefits, but only 21.4 percent actually participate in the program.
“Congress has a responsibility to communities with the greatest need, and we are urging policy makers to create a circle of protection around funding for programs that are vital to hungry and poor people,” added Moreno.
The data also examines the impact of federal anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs on keeping hunger and poverty at bay. Programs like SNAP, WIC, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) help families put food on the table and lift millions of people out of poverty every year. According to aWhite House report, 3.7 million Latino families, including 8 million children, benefit from the EITC and the CTC.
For more analysis, see “Hunger and Poverty in the Hispanic Community.”