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Hispanic Adults Attending English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes at an Adult School Are Food Insecure
Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition (2015)
  • Marjorie R. Freedman, San Jose State University
  • Clarie B. Hollenbeck, San Jose State University
  • Gloria Contreras-Pena, San Jose State University
Food insecurity in the United States is associated with poverty and ethnicity. Rates of food insecurity among groups who may not qualify for government assistance programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are lacking. Hispanic adults taking English as a second language (ESL) day and evening classes in an affluent area of Northern California were surveyed in Spanish to determine the prevalence of food insecurity and respondents’ knowledge and use of food assistance programs. Of 107 respondents (57% male), 58.9% had a steady job. Yet, 68% were food insecure. Many (79%) respondents purchased inexpensive staple foods when money was limited. Gender, household size, time of day attending classes, and employment status had no effect on food security status. Eighteen percent (n = 13) of food insecure respondents accessed food assistance programs but the reminder (82%, n = 60) reported lack of access, primarily due to lack of program awareness. This study suggests that food insecurity is widespread among working immigrants living in an affluent area. Action plans are needed to address the awareness gap and other potential barriers to participation in food assistance programs to improve food security among working and nonworking Hispanic immigrants.
  • food insecurity,
  • Hispanic population,
  • food assistance
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Citation Information
Marjorie R. Freedman, Clarie B. Hollenbeck and Gloria Contreras-Pena. "Hispanic Adults Attending English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes at an Adult School Are Food Insecure" Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Vol. 10 Iss. 2 (2015) p. 284 - 292 ISSN: 1932-0248
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