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Congressman Al Lawson

Representing the 5th District of Florida

U.S. Rep Al Lawson Cohosts Congressional Black Caucus Briefing: Studying the Impact of Food Insecurity on Communities of Color

February 28, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON DC — This week, U.S. Rep Al Lawson (FL-05) hosted the Congressional Black Caucus Briefing: Studying the Impact of Food Insecurity on Communities of Color. The food insecurity rate among African-American households is more than double that of Caucasian households. Latinos are more than twice as likely to be food insecure and twice as likely to live in poverty as white, non-Hispanics.

 The briefing was co-hosted by Representatives Dwight Evans (D-Pennsylvania), Alma Adams (D-North Carolina), Sanford Bishop Jr. (D-Georgia), David Scott (D-Georgia), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) and Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio).

"Food insecurity impacts African-American and Latino households at much greater rates than that of other demographics – with poverty and unemployment being two major factors," Rep. Lawson said. "It is concerning that so many Americans struggle with hunger each day, and that minorities are so disproportionately affected by this issue. If we want to deliver results for our families, we must work hand-in-hand to eradicate these inequities."

Panelists discussed actions that can be taken through important pieces of legislation, such as the Farm Bill, which includes supporting local food banks to help eradicate food deserts. Florida’s 5th District includes six of the nine counties with the highest rates of food insecurity in the entire state of Florida. More than 24 percent of residents in Florida’s fifth district live below the poverty line, which is the second highest level in all of Florida.

“We thank Representative Lawson for leading this important discussion on food insecurity and highlighting the unique challenges faced by communities of color as they seek to put food on the table,” said Feeding America Senior Vice President of Government Relations Kate Leone. “As the Farm Bill reauthorization and fiscal year 2019 appropriations legislation approach, we know that valuable partners like Mr. Lawson and the Congressional Black Caucus will help ensure the prioritization of ending hunger in communities across the country.”

Feeding America is a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, providing meals to more than 46 million people, annually. Among its members are America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend and Feeding Northwest Florida, both located in the 5th Congressional District.

The panel was moderated by Leone. Panelists included:

  • Lindsay Morton, Assistant Director of Healthy Markets for Martha’s Table;
  • Eric Michell, Director of Government Relations for Bread for the World;
  • Triada Stampas, Vice President for Research & Public Affairs for Food Bank for New York City; and
  • Minerva Delgado, Director of Coalitions and Advocacy for Alliance To End Hunger

Rep. Lawson speaks to the audience during the Congressional Black Caucus Briefing