LGBT Hunger and Food Insecurity

This week, The New York Times published an article on the numbers of LGBT folks who go hungry and who do not have money to provide adequate food for themselves and their families on a regular basis. The article shares some personal stories:

Behind the statistics are people like Sofia Torres, a lesbian who at 71 is unemployed and receives only $35 a week in food stamps after recent cuts. Or William Gonzalez, a 50-year-old gay man from Queens who survived a hate crime and lives on a government disability check, and relies on a local food pantry called the River Fund for groceries. Or Tanya Asapansa-Johnson Walker, a 53-year-old transgender woman who has for years relied on food pantries because finding a job is so difficult.

Key findings from the study prompting the article in The New York Times“Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation in the LGBT Community”:

…more than 1 in 4 LGBT adults (27%) – approximately 2.2 million people – experienced a time in the last year when they did not have enough money for the food that they or their families needed, compared to 17% of non-LGBT adults. More than 1 in 4 LGB adults aged 18-44 (27%) participated in SNAP, compared to 20% of non-LGB adults in the same age range.  Food insecurity is not distributed evenly in the LGBT community. Certain racial and ethnic minorities (42% among African-Americans, 33% among Hispanics, and32% among American Indians and Alaskan Natives), women (31%), unmarried individuals (30%), and those raising children (33%) are particularly likely to report not having enough money for the food that they or their families needed at some point in the last year.

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