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Study: 1 In 20 Hispanics In US Suffers From Hunger December 21, 2006

Posted by notapundit in Uncategorized.
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WASHINGTON (AP)–Hispanics are increasingly visible across the U.S., but they come with an almost invisible problem – hunger and limited access to healthy food, according to a study released Wednesday.

Some 5% of Hispanics suffer from hunger, and 20% do not have sufficient access to nutritious food, according to the study released by the Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy organization.

The numbers signify a serious risk for the health and economy of the fastest-growing group in the U.S., which three years ago became the country’s most populous minority.

“Everyone sees the Latino presence in their communities, but no one makes the connection to the necessity for food aid,” said Jennifer Ng’andu, the study’s co-author.

The hunger statistics for Hispanics are almost as high as for blacks and are substantially higher than for whites, of whom 3% go hungry and just 5% suffer from limited access to healthy food.

More than 8% of blacks suffer from hunger and 22% have limited access to healthy food, according to the study.

Administrators of food aid programs have said Hispanics do not receive all of the government benefits they could because of language difficulties.

As with blacks, poverty seems to be the principal limitation to access to healthy foods. Some 22% of Hispanics and 25% of blacks are poor, compared with 8% of whites.

Hispanics make up 14% of the U.S. population, at 42 million. Of those, 40% were born in other countries. Of the estimated 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S., about 10 million are Hispanic.

In 1996, Congress disqualified illegal immigrants from almost every form of government aid. In 2002, it reinstituted access to some programs for some immigrants, including children of illegal immigrants. But some who might be able to benefit from the programs do not because of fears about immigration status.

According to the study, only half of the Hispanic population takes advantage of such benefits, compared to 70% of blacks.

Despite the hunger statistics, Hispanics have the highest rates of obesity among minorities in the U.S.

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