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Approximately 2.2 Million LGBTQ Adults Struggle with Food Insecurity in the US

by Hayley Miller August 10, 2016

A new study by The Williams Institute found that one in four LGBTQ adults, approximately 2.2 million LGBTQ people, struggled to feed themselves or their families in the past year, compared to one in six non-LGBTQ adults.

SNAP, which stands for the federal “Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” commonly known as food stamps, has become a vital program for LGBTQ adults. “More than 1 in 4 LGB adults aged 18-44 (27 percent) participated in SNAP, compared to 17 percent of non-LGB adults in the same age range,” The Williams Institute reported. “Food insecurity is not distributed evenly in the LGBT community. Certain racial and ethnic minorities (42 percent among African-Americans, 33 percent among Hispanics, and 32 percent among American Indians and Alaskan Natives), women (31 percent), unmarried individuals (30 percent), and those raising children (33 percent) 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.”

While the data did not include a breakdown of food insecurity among the transgender community, the transgender community faces disproportionately high rates of poverty, homelessness, and unemployment when compared to cisgender people, all factors that increase the risk of food insecurity.

HRC’s Health and Aging Program works to ensure the health and safety of LGBTQ people. The program’s Healthcare Equality Index helps healthcare facilities implement policies and staff training that lead to LGBTQ-inclusive care.

To learn more about HRC’s Health and Aging program, visit

Hayley Miller
Hayley Miller


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