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From Disparities to Discrimination: Getting at the Roots of Food Insecurity in America

Our new report, “From Disparities to Discrimination: Getting at the Roots of Food Insecurity” highlights emerging research from our Philadelphia site that documents differences in food insecurity in relation to experiences with racial and ethnic discrimination on the street, in healthcare, school and work, with the police, and in other settings. Our analysis shows that lifetime experiences of discrimination are strongly linked to reports of household and child food insecurity, as shown in the following graphic. 


Listed below are some of the recommendations we included in the report that we believe may reverse, prevent, and eliminate discrimination and reduce food insecurity so all families can flourish. For the entire list of recommendations, click here.

Discrimination in Education
  • Train all education professionals in implicit bias and hold schools accountable by tracking student outcomes based on race and ethnicity.

Employment and Wages

  • Ensure that hiring practices focus on fair processes and equal pay for men and women and that anti-discrimination policies in hiring and in workplace settings are properly enforced.

Housing

  • Strengthen and enforce the Fair Housing Act of 164, which aims to protect renters and home buyers from discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender, ability, and religion.

Healthcare

  • Train all health professionals in implicit bias, support doctors and medical researchers of color, and hold hospitals accountable by tracking patient outcomes based on race and ethnicity.

Police

  • End the criminalization of minor offenses that are often used to police people of color such as marijuana possession, disorderly conduct, trespassing, loitering, and jaywalking.

Ourselves

  • Identify the social and economic and systems that cause poverty and food insecurity. Investigate root causes – and not simply call poverty a root cause – in all research on disparities in food insecurity and poor health among children and families in the US. 

For more research from Center for Hunger-Free Communities, such as their latest policy brief “Aligning Systems to Build a Culture of Health: Integrating TANF and Medicaid to Achieve Health and Wealth,” click here.

This publication is the fourth in a series of report cards made possible through generous funding from The JPB Foundation.

The authors would like to thank the staff and leaders of Children’s HealthWatch and Witnesses to Hunger including: Richard Sheward, Kate Scully, Rebecca Kranz, Deborah Frank, Megan Sandel, Diana Cutts, Molly Knowles, and John Cook for their thoughtful review of their work.