According to the “State of Grandfamilies 2022” report released by Generations United, the 2.5 million children in the United States growing up in “grandfamilies” face higher rates of hunger and food insecurity than their peers.
Grandfamilies are families in which children are being raised by relatives – grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, or close friends – without their parents in the home. In fact, 25 percent of grandparent-headed households experienced food insecurity between 2019 and 2020. That is more than twice the national rate. Food insecurity negatively impacts a child’s ability to learn and grow and has long-term health implications.
The rate of food insecurity among all grandparent-headed households with grandchildren is 60 percent higher than that of all households with children (25% vs. 15%). And perhaps the most stark finding in the report: the rate of food insecurity for households where grandparents are raising grandchildren with no parents present where the grandparents are older than 60 is more than three times higher than the rate of similar households with no children.
Grandfamilies are disproportionately African American and American Indian/Alaska
Native, and, in some areas, Latino. (Specifically, 14% of all children in the U.S. are Black
and 25% of children in grandfamilies are Black. One percent of children in the U.S. are
American Indian or Alaska Native, but 8% of children in grandfamilies hold these
identities.) Yet, years of structural racism and discrimination have led to disproportionate
rates of food insecurity, as well as difficulties accessing support systems and inequitable
supports for grandfamily caregivers and the children they raise.
For more information, access the full report here.