If you need food assistance and you are a Latino in Massachusetts, this is for you!
Massachusetts, one of the most prosperous states in the U.S., is home to more than 800,000 Hispanics. However, there are still many challenges:
- Hispanic communities are not self-sufficient,
- They have some problems accessing health care services,
- The economic situation of a large percentage of families remains below the poverty line,
- Many face food insecurity,
- They have low rates of intergenerational economic mobility,
- Some still struggle to make ends meet.
What status are Latinos in Massachusetts in?
Poverty among Latinos in Massachusetts is 25% higher than that faced by Latinos nationally; today one in four Latinos in Massachusetts lives below the federal poverty line.
So says the Boston Indicators website in its latest report, Persistent Economic Challenges and Opportunities Facing Latinos and Massachusetts.
Latinos in Massachusetts also face greater economic challenges than Latinos nationally; compared to other racial groups, Latino poverty is 6 percentage points higher than Black poverty and three times higher than White poverty.
Unemployment and the Latino Community in Massachusetts
In terms of employment, Latinos in Massachusetts continue to face greater challenges than their counterparts nationally.
Even before the 2020 COVID pandemic, Latino unemployment in the Commonwealth was higher than Latino unemployment nationally.
Among the largest racial/ethnic groups in Massachusetts, Black and Latino workers had the highest unemployment rates at 7.7% and 7.6%, respectively in 2019.
In mid-2020, the increase was even worse for Latinos, peaking at 28% in the second quarter of 2020.
Food Insecurity among Massachusetts Latinos
Unemployment deepens other challenges facing this community and that is the high rate of food insecurity: thousands of Massachusetts residents, many of them Latinos, struggle each year to put food on the table.
In fact, Latino food insecurity in Massachusetts is nearly 8 percentage points higher than that of Latinos nationally, and is more than double that of any other racial subgroup in Massachusetts.
Addressing this food insecurity among Massachusetts Latinos
Programs like those led by Project Bread help families afford the foods they like, food that meets their dietary limits, allergic restrictions, and cultural preferences.
Eligible individuals can purchase food at most supermarkets, convenience stores, gas stations, pharmacies, farmers’ markets and cooperative programs.
By 2021, Project Bread-promoted initiatives such as The Walk for Hunger and with the invaluable support of partners raised $1.3 million in 29 states to leverage these programs of The Commonwealth.
By contacting the FoodSource hotline at 1-800-645-8333, one of their counselors will be able to help you find out if you are eligible to receive the monthly cash benefit on an EBT card that can be used as a debit card to purchase food.
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Sources: https://www.bostonindicators.org/, https://www.census.gov/, https://gettingsnap.org/