Nationally, the population identifying as Hispanic/Latino represents 17 percent (53.0 million people) of the U.S. population. The Latino population in the U.S. grew 43 percent over the last decade and growth increasingly occurred in new communities[i]. Overall population growth in the U.S. was just 10 percent over that time.[ii] Latinos are disproportionately affected by poverty, food insecurity, and unemployment. They are also more likely to receive emergency food assistance than their white, non-Hispanic peers and less likely to receive SNAP benefits.
The Map the Meal Gap analyses demonstrate that unemployment is a major contributing factor to food insecurity. Unemployment is significantly higher among Latinos than among white, non-Hispanics.
Latino households are more than twice as likely to be food insecure as white, non-Hispanic households. Counties with majority Latino populations are disproportionately represented among the top 10% of counties with the highest rates of child food insecurity.
Charitable Food Assistance
Latino households are disproportionately represented within the charitable food assistance client population. Latinos are nearly two times as likely to receive charitable food assistance as their Caucasian peers.
Latino households experience disproportionate levels of poverty and have lower household income than their white, non-Hispanic counterparts.
Latino households are less likely to receive SNAP benefits than white, non-Hispanic client households.
Nutrition and Obesity
Latino adults and children are at greater risk of obesity and diabetes than their African American and white, non-Hispanic peers. Diabetes and other chronic health conditions can further complicate the issue of food insecurity.
Lifetime risk estimates for developing diabetes is higher for both Hispanic men and women than for other ethnic groups. Hispanic women born in 2000 have a 53 percent risk of developing diabetes in their lifetime compared to 31 percent risk for non-Hispanic white females and a 49 percent risk among African American women. Similarly, Hispanic men have a 45 percent risk compared to a 27 percent risk among non-Hispanic white males and a 40 percent risk among African American men.[xiv]
[i] ACS Table B03002. (2013). Hispanic or Latino Origin by Race. 2012 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates.
[ii] The Hispanic Population: 2010. (2011). U.S. Census Bureau.
[iii] CPS Table 4. (2013). Employment status of the Hispanic or Latino population by age and sex
[iv] CPS Table 3. (2013). Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population by sex, age, and race. Household data annual averages. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
[v] Coleman-Jensen, A., Gregory, C., & Singh, A. (2014). Food Security in the United States in 2013. Table 2. USDA ERS.
[vi] Coleman-Jensen, A., Gregory, C., & Singh, A. (2014). Food Security in the United States in 2013, Statistical Supplement. Table S-3. USDA ERS.
[vii] Gundersen, C., E. Engelhard, A. Satoh, & E. Waxman. Map the Meal Gap 2014: Food Insecurity Estimates at the County Level. Feeding America, 2014.
[viii] Feeding America, Hunger in America 2014, National Report. August 2014.
[ix] DeNavas-Walt, C. & Proctor, B.D. (2014). Income and Poverty in the United States: 2013. U.S. Census Bureau.
[xii] Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2012. (2014). USDA FNS.
[xiii] Table 30 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: 2011. Table 31.
[xiv] Narayan KMV, Boyle JP, Thompson TJ, et al. “Lifetime Risk for Diabetes Mellitus in the United States.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 290(14): 1884-1890, 2003.
[xv] Ogden CL, Carroll MD, Curtin LR, Lamb MM and Flegal KM. “Prevalence of High Body Mass Index in US Children and Adolescents, 2007–2008.” Journal of the American Medical Association, 303(3): 242–249, 2010