Study: More Blacks Receiving Food Assistance

Kathy Chaney, Chicago Defender, February 10, 2010

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According to a recent study by Feeding America, a Chicago-based hunger-relief agency, 37 million Americans receive emergency food assistance each year and African Americans make up 34 percent of the total. Since the agency’s last study four years ago, there has been an increase of more than one million additional African Americans I need of emergency food help.

About 3.7 million African American children were living with food insecurity, an increase of 35 percent from 2.78 million, according to the “Household Food Insecurity In the United States, 2008” report released in November.

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Vicki Escarra, head of Feeding America, said the organization saw the writing on the wall two years ago. Demand at food banks increase about 30 percent, on average, she said.

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About 678,000 people annually–a 36 percent increase since 2006–are served by the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the county’s primary food bank. It supplies nearly 600 food pantries, shelters and soup kitchens.

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