WITZ Radio News is an affiliate of Network Indiana
STATE WIDE--One in seven households in Indiana are "food insecure", meaning they don't get enough to eat or they don't know where their next meal is coming from. African-American children are more likely to go without food than white children, said a study by Bread for the World.
Indiana is the 11th hungriest state.
"One in three African-American households in Indiana are food insecure," said Marlysa D. Gamblin, Domestic Advisor for Policy and Programs, Bread for the World Institute. "One in four children in Indiana who are African-American live below the poverty line, compared to one in 13 white children."
Gamblin said that means black children are three times as likely to live in poverty.
She said the disparity can be attributed to institutional racism, or structural racisom, which she says is embedded into the system.
One example she gave is the Social Security Act.
"The Social Security Act excluded occupations that were disproportionately African-American," said Gamblin, who also cited exclusions for blacks from the GI Bill. She said those types of policy issues have made racism inherent, regardless of how people feel.
"Last year African-Americans were the only group who saw a decrease in household income," she said. Every other group saw an increase. She said unemployment is also still disproportionate, even though it's at a record low point for blacks.
"It's stil quite high among African-Americans...that should tell you something, right?"
Gamblin said to celebrate Black History Month, people should put pressure on Congress to fix the structural racism that still inhibits job growth and causes hunger.
"Our nation...should be focused on how we can honor the work of past and current black leaders," she said . "And the way that you honor is by passing policy."