So much good is born of struggle. The Hunger Coalition was born of struggle — of hunger and hardship — but has evolved into a celebration of the joy and tenacity of working class folks.

It’s not lost on us that PRIDE month has evolved much the same. We know our LGBTQ+ friends have been denied a very fundamental right —the right to love and live freely. We know discrimination continues to morph and that to this day, the LGBTQ+ community experiences hunger at disproportionate rates.* “Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation in the LGBTQ Community” revealed that 27% of LGBTQ+ adults experienced food insecurity, compared to 17% of non-LGBTQ+ adults.

*Research suggests that certain segments of the LGBTQ+ population may indeed experience higher rates of food insecurity compared to the general population. A report titled “Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation in the LGBTQ Community” revealed that 27% of LGBTQ+ adults experienced food insecurity, compared to 17% of non-LGBTQ+ adults. A national survey conducted by True Colors United found that 62% of LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness also reported experiencing food insecurity, demonstrating a higher vulnerability to hunger among LGBTQ+ youth without stable housing. While it is important to note that the experiences of individuals within the LGBTQ+ community can vary widely, there are a few factors that contribute to this disparity.

Discrimination and Marginalization: LGBTQ+ individuals often face discrimination, stigma, and marginalization, which can lead to social and economic disadvantages. This can manifest in employment discrimination, limited job opportunities, wage gaps, and housing instability, all of which can contribute to food insecurity.

Family Rejection and Homelessness: Some LGBTQ+ individuals experience rejection from their families, which can result in homelessness or precarious living situations. Homeless individuals are particularly vulnerable to food insecurity as they lack stable housing and often struggle to access regular meals.

Mental Health Challenges: Studies have shown that LGBTQ+ individuals are more likely to experience mental health challenges, including higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation, often due to discrimination experienced. Mental health issues can affect an individual’s ability to maintain stable employment and income, leading to increased vulnerability to food insecurity.

Health Disparities: LGBTQ+ individuals may face specific health disparities and barriers to healthcare, including limited access to affordable healthcare, lower rates of health insurance coverage, and discrimination within healthcare settings. These factors can impact overall well-being and increase the risk of food insecurity.

Intersectionality: The experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals are shaped by intersecting identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. LGBTQ+ individuals who belong to other marginalized groups may face compounded disadvantages, further increasing their risk of food insecurity.

It is worth mentioning that research on this topic is ongoing, and specific data may vary based on different regions, cultural contexts, and demographic factors. Efforts to address food insecurity within the LGBTQ+ community involve implementing inclusive policies, combating discrimination, promoting economic opportunities, and ensuring access to affordable healthcare and social support systems.

This month, there are several celebrations and opportunities to speak up.

For folks who’ve had to fight tooth and nail for human rights, a celebration is in order. One where we wear our PRIDE on our sleeve, share the love, and continue to fight the good fight. 

To our LGBTQ+ family — We see you. We love you. We are with you always.

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