25% of #africanamericans live in poverty. Twice the national average.

(Hudson Press) Annual data released recently by the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that 43.6 million Americans – one in seven people – now live in poverty. This is the largest number of people in poverty in the 51 years for which the estimates are available. The figures also show that African Americans experience poverty at a much higher rate than whites.

“It’s troubling that, in one of the world’s wealthiest nations, one in four African-American households struggle to provide for their families,” said Bishop Don DiXon Williams of Bread for the World’s Church Relations department. “The vast disproportion in poverty rates between African Americans and whites suggests that we must urge our nation’s leaders to do more to end poverty and hunger.”

In 2009, the poverty rate for African Americans reached 25.8 percent – almost twice as high as that of the general population. One in three African-American children now lives in families that have trouble providing for them. Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly called food stamps) has hit record levels, with African-Americans accounting for 22.6 percent of the 40.5 million Americans who receive SNAP benefits each month. This figure is projected to rise in 2011.

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