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One in four LGBT people experienced food insecurity in the past year

Nearly 27% of LGBT people, an estimated 3,029,000 adults, experienced food insecurity in the past year, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

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Nearly 27% of LGBT people, an estimated 3,029,000 adults, experienced food insecurity in the past year, according to the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Women, people of color, young adults, and those with low incomes have particularly high rates of food insecurity.

The percentage of LGBT people who did not have enough food to eat is more than twice the proportion of food insecurity found in the general population.

Figure 1. Estimates of food insecurity among LGBT adults, 2017. National Estimates of Food Insecurity: LGBT People and COVID-19 (April 2020). The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

Researchers used data from the 2017 Gallup Daily Tracking survey to examine current vulnerabilities that could increase the risk of food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Before the pandemic, hunger was a persistent problem for one in four LGBT adults,” said lead author Bianca D.M. Wilson, Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. “COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn is likely to have a major impact on this population.”

Key Findings

  • One in three LBT women and one in five GBT men experience food insecurity.
  • 30% of LGBT adults age 18 to 34 experienced food insecurity in the past year and relatively high rates were found among all age groups under 65.
  • Black (37%), Latinx (32%), American Indian (29%), and Pacific Islander (35%) LGBT people report particularly high rates of food insecurity, compared to White (22%) and Asian/Asian American (8%) LGBT people.
  • Half of all LGBT people eligible for SNAP experienced food insecurity in the past year.
  • More than one-third of LGBT people experiencing poverty—but ineligible for SNAP—faced hunger in the past year.

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september 2020

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