Food Insecurity and SNAP Participation in the LGBT Community

By Taylor N.T. Brown, Adam P. Romero, and Gary J. Gates
July 2016

This study analyzes the extent of food insecurity experiences and participation in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) among LGBT adults and adults in same-sex couples. Using data from four representative, population-based surveys the authors find higher rates of these experiences among LGBT adults and adults in same-sex couples than among non-LGBT adults and adults in different-sex couples.

Key findings from the study include that more than 1 in 4 LGBT adults (27%) – approximately 2.2 million people – experienced a time in the last year when they did not have enough money for the food that they or their families needed, compared to 17% of non-LGBT adults. More than 1 in 4 LGB adults aged 18-44 (27%) participated in SNAP, compared to 20% of non-LGB adults in the same age range.  Food insecurity is not distributed evenly in the LGBT community. Certain racial and ethnic minorities (42% among African-Americans, 33% among Hispanics, and32% among American Indians and Alaskan Natives), women (31%), unmarried individuals (30%), and those raising children (33%) are particularly likely to report not having enough money for the food that they or their families needed at some point in the last year. Additional findings are available in the full study which presents both descriptive and multivariate analyses.

This study was made possible with a grant from the ConAgra Foods Foundation.

Click here for the full study.

Click here for the press release.

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