Food Insecurity Rose for Single Moms, Families of Color in 2020
Monday, September 13, 2021
DENVER - The rate of people experiencing hunger in Colorado and across the U.S. remained statistically steady overall during 2020, according to initial data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But people of color and low-income workers experienced food insecurity at dramatically higher rates during the pandemic.
Geri Henchy, director of nutrition policy at the Food Research and Action Center, said 40% of single-parent households headed by women did not know where their next meal was coming from.
"A lot of single moms were working at jobs that you couldn't do at home," said Henchy. "They lost their jobs during COVID, and some of them can't find child care so they can go back to work. And so all of this results in these households really struggling to put enough food on the table."
Government aid packages boosting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other programs passed with bipartisan support, are credited for keeping overall hunger rates steady as the economy shed some 20 million jobs.
Critics of proposals making their way through Congress to permanently expand supports for struggling families argue that additional spending is not needed, because overall rates remained at just over 10% of U.S. households.
Henchy said she isn't sure the initial data tells the whole story, in part because getting people to respond to surveyors going door to door during a global pandemic was no easy feat. Even if overall hunger rates did remain steady, Henchy said the need continues to be significant.
"There were already unacceptably high rates of food insecurity in the U.S, and those have continued," said Henchy. "So that's 38 million hungry people and hungry households."
Communities of color were also disproportionately impacted in 2020. Black households experienced hunger at three times the rate of white households.
"Basically 22% of black families, and 17% of Latinx households, were impacted by food insecurity," said Henchy. "And that's considerably higher than the rate of white households, which was only 7%."
get more stories like this via email
RICHMOND, Va. - As U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., takes heat this week for attending a posh fundraiser in a dress that said "Tax the …
EAST TROY, Wis. - Wisconsin farmers are looking ahead to the fall harvest, and those who use cover crops face a deadline to sign up for a research …
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The pandemic is shining a new light on the burdens felt by family caregivers, and a bill in Congress would remove some of the …
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is lashing out against the idea of Critical Race Theory, filing a bill to ban its use in all …
PORTLAND, Ore. - Wealthy Americans have a message for Congress: Tax us more. More than 200 high-income taxpayers and business owners have sent an …
ALBANY, N.Y. - As a U.S. House committee debates the Biden administration's "Build Back Better" Act, a letter from more than 200 wealthy Americans …
By Sonali Kolhatkar for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Lily Bohlke for Commonwealth News Service reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Three New Hampshire professors are among those who've signed a letter urging the United Nations General Assembly to adopt what's …