7 “Do What You Gotta' Do”: How Low-Income African American Mothers Manage Food Insecurity

Robin L. Jarrett, Ozge Sensoy Bahar, and Ezella McPherson

Introduction

For many low-income African American women with children who live in inner-city neighborhoods, food shortages are all too common. Research identifies the disproportionate burden of food insecurity among low-income African American households with children that are located in urban neighborhoods (Coleman-Jensen, Nord, Andrews, and Carlson, 2012; Congressional Digest, 2010). According to the most recent United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, 17.9 million households (14.9%) in the United States were food insecure, or had limited access to adequate food supplies in 2011 (Coleman-Jensen et al., 2012). Moreover, 5.7% (6.8 million) of households experienced very low food security, where food intake of one or more household members was reduced and their eating patterns were disrupted ...

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