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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 29, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 31
Study finds LGBT adults experience food insecurity at higher levels than non-LGBT adults
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Study finds LGBT adults experience food insecurity at higher levels than non-LGBT adults

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

LGBT adults and adults in same-sex couples often experience food insecurity and participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at higher rates than their non-LGBT and different-sex couple counterparts, according to a new study by researchers at the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

Using data from four representative, population-based surveys, the authors found that some groups of LGBT adults - women, certain racial and ethnic minorities, unmarried adults, and adults with children in the home - are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity.

The study, titled Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation in the LGBT Community, by Taylor N. T. Brown, Adam P. Romero, and Gary J. Gates, updates previous findings and provides further evidence of the disparities experienced by LGBT people.

Key findings from the study include:

o More than one in four 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.

o More than one in four LGBT adults aged 18-44 (27%) participated in SNAP, compared to 20% of non-LGB adults in the same age range.

o Food insecurity is not distributed evenly in the LGBT community. Among LGBT people, certain racial and ethnic minorities (42% among African-Americans, 33% among Hispanics, and 32% 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.

o LGBT adults are 1.62 times more likely than non-LGBT adults, on average, to report not having enough money for the food that they or their families needed at some point in the last year.

o Adults in same-sex couples are 1.58 times more likely than different-sex couples to have participated in SNAP in the past year.

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