Understanding and working to alleviate disparities in food security and access across social statuses is vital to advance a truly sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system. One such disparity is the greater risk of experiencing food insecurity faced by LGBTQIA+ Americans.
According to the Center for American Progress, members of this community receive SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits at twice the rate of non-LGBTQIA+ Americans. Additionally, a study conducted by UCLA’s Williams Institute found:
- 27% of LGBTQIA+ adults experienced food insecurity in the prior year, compared to 17% of adults outside the community;
- 18% of LGBTQIA+ adults reported that they or someone in their family went without food for an entire day in the prior month; and
- 42% of Black LGBTQIA+ people reported not having enough money for food in the prior year.
These figures are staggering, but thankfully there is an existing network of organizations and farms working to help address LGBTQIA+ food insecurity. This is done in part by rescuing food that is at risk of going to waste and distributing it to those in need. A ReFED analysis indicates that reducing food waste by 50% by 2030 can recover the equivalent of 4 billion meals annually.
Although there is much work that still needs to be done to solve the root causes of food insecurity, these organizations are helping to get food to the people who need it. For example, New York based Rock Steady Farm is a LGBTQIA+ owned cooperative farm that works to increase food access and provide training to LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC farmers. The Okra Project is a collective that addresses food insecurity experienced by Black Trans people by providing them home cooked and healthy meals and resources.
To learn about other organizations, explore this list created by our friends at Food Tank.