The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

Paper on Discrimination and Food Insecurity Published

November 13, 2019
Black woman picking up bags at a food pantry
Event Date: 
November 13, 2019

Center for Hunger-Free Communities staff published a paper in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health identifying a strong association between experiences of interpersonal racism and household food insecurity, depression, and poor physical health. The paper used data collected from Latinx and Black mothers through Children’s Health Watch in Philadelphia.

According to the data, experiences of discrimination in the criminal justice system, workplaces, and school are most highly associated with household food insecurity. Additionally, the study highlighted that public assistance programs, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), have done little to reduce this strong correlation. The results of this study reinforce the need for development of programs that support the whole person in addressing poverty and focus on healing from the trauma of systemic racism, such as the Center’s Building Wealth and Health Network.

The paper, “Experiences of Racial and Ethnic Discrimination Are Associated with Food Insecurity and Poor Health (Nov. 2019),” was written by Center staff Pam Phojanakong, PhD, Emily Brown Weida, Gabriella Grimaldi, and Mariana Chilton, PhD, along with Drexel School of Public Health faculty member Félice Lê-Scherban, PhD. It continues to build on information shared in last year's Discrimination Spotlights.


By Gabe Halperin-Goldstein


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