More Than One In Five Latino Households Are Food Insecure

Image: Years Of Economic Decline Leave One Third Of Atlantic City's Resident In Poverty
EGG HARBOR, NJ - AUGUST 28: Low-income families select free bread and produce at the Community Food Bank of New Jersey on August 28, 2015 in Egg Harbor, New Jersey. The food bank has seen an 11 percent increase in food distribution in Atlantic County since four of Atlantic City's major casinos closed in 2014, laying of 8,000 people. The closures brought Atlantic City's unemployment rate to more than 11 percent, double the national average. The mass unemployment has produced the highest foreclosure rate of any metropolitan U.S. area, with 1 out of 113 homes now in foreclosure in Atlantic County. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)John Moore / Getty Images

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By Griselda Nevarez

Hispanic households have some of the highest food insecurity rates in the United States, meaning they have limited access to adequate food, according to a new report.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week released a new report that provides a detailed look at hunger in America. It found that the rates of food insecurity for Hispanics were substantially higher than the national average.

In 2014, an estimated 22.4 percent of Hispanic-headed households were considered “food insure.” In comparison, 14 percent of households nationwide were food insecure, which is little progress from the previous year when it was 14.3 percent.

The report defines food-insecure households as those that “had difficulty at some time during the year providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources.”

The rates of food insecurity were also higher than the national average for others households, including those with incomes near or below the federal poverty line, households with children headed by single women or single men, and households headed by African Americans.

The report also looked at food insecurity in households with children and found that 19.2 percent of children lived in food-insecure households in 2014, down from 19.5 percent in 2013. That means that 1 in 5 children live in families who are struggling to consistently put food on the table.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack gave an optimistic interpretation of the report, saying it “reflects a recovering and growing economy.”

“Food security for households with children, and households overall, is the strongest it’s been since before the Recession,” he said in a statement. “Two million fewer people live in a state of food insecurity today compared to 2011.”

He also suggested that “anti-poverty and nutrition programs” as well as “efforts to improve employment and training programs” are part of the overall effort to improve food security rates across the nation.