A new report from American think tank The Williams Institute reveals LGBT people are more likely to have experienced ‘food insecurity’ than straight counterparts.
The study defines ‘food insecurity’ as ‘having limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways’.
According to the report, 29% of LGBT adults in America experienced a time in the past year when they did not have enough money to feed themselves or their family. The national food insecurity average is significantly lower at 16%.
The study also found LGBT adults aged 18-44 were 1.3 times more likely to receive food stamps than heterosexual counterparts. The same figure rises to 2.1 for gay couples raising children under 18.
Around 25% of bisexual participants receive food stamps, compared to 14% of lesbians and gay men. Racial inequalities were also found, with 78% of LGBT Native Hawaiians experiencing food insecurity, compared to 55% of LGBT Native Americans and 23% of white LGBT adults.
However, even when taking into account demographic factors such as age, gender, race and education, LGBT Americans face ‘disproportionate levels of food insecurity’.
The study’s author, Gary Gates, says nearly 47 million Americans (almost 20% of the total population) participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which helps low- and no-income citizens with food purchases.