Food insecurity increasing among Black families

Single mom Keosha Brunson and her daughter. Photo courtesy: Mikiyah Everett

No Kid Hungry Florida, a non-profit organization, recently conducted a statewide survey on food insecurity and found it is increasing in households, including middle-class families making nearly $62,000 a year. The study also found that Black families are struggling more than other ethnic groups.

The Florida director of No Kid Hungry, Sky Beard, described why many Black families are facing food insecurity.

“I think we go back to what we knew over the last many years across our state and that is hunger is everywhere, but it is definitely felt more acutely in the Black communities, ” Beard said. “Much of that stems from historical lack of resources …and not having the information and the connection to resources that other communities have the advantage to. We know at NKH we have to equally pay attention to the systemic inequalities that lead to poverty and hunger…and we’re committed to that work, alongside many partners.”

Keosha Brunson, a Black single mom of two children in Panama City, is all too familiar with food insecurity.

“Due to me always being worried about how to make a meal last or being able to purchase enough food, I’ve dealt with a lot of stress, as well as borderline depression,” Brunson said. “I think that everyone making under $60,000 a year should be able to receive government assistance because with that alone, parents would not have to make a decision on rather they should pay a bill or buy food.”

Beard said that the acceleration of food insecurity in Florida is nothing new and the rising prices in groceries, including other costs, are making it more difficult.

“This was something communities were facing even pre-COVID, this isn’t a new phenomenon across our state,” Beard said. “Which is exactly why we recently commissioned a poll at No Kid Hungry Florida. That poll showed us nearly three-quarters of families that responded are having a harder time now than they did before putting food on the table.

Brunson says she has not endured food insecurity since she was a child, until recently.

“The last time I had to deal with being hungry was when I was younger,” Brunson said. “I’m dealing with it more now because inflation is on the rise and I’m not able to buy things at their ‘normal’ price. A head of lettuce in some stores is now up to $4.”

Beard explained the measures NKH takes in combating food insecurities. She said the organization contributes to food banks, local churches, and other organizations that aid in the fight to end hunger.

“There are quite a few different ways … one of those is by funding and granting,” Beard said. “Our No Kid Hungry Florida team has granted nearly $11 million in the state and will continue our commitment to financially support organizations who are feeding children and their families.”

She also offered another resource they provide specifically for Florida families.

“We have a texting line,” Beard added. “Families can text ‘FOOD’ to 304304 and find out where they can access meals in their local communities.”

To read the full results of the No Kid Hungry Florida survey, visit