Published on: Feb 19, 2013 @ 4:45 p.m. ET

(Source: Bread for the World)

More than 106 million people, or 34.4 percent of the U.S. population, are considered poor or near poor. Alarmingly, the latest figures reveal African-American and African-American child hunger and poverty rates are even greater than the national averages—-sometimes twice as high. On Tuesday, February 26, Bread for the World Institute will release their new analysis, Hunger and Poverty among African-American Children, which explores the latest figures, and programs that have helped poor and hungry people.

The analysis will call out 20 states and 20 major metropolitan areas with the highest African-American child poverty rates in the country–many of which are in the Midwest.

In Iowa, the poverty rate for African-American children was more than triple the overall child poverty rate—-ironic for a state with such a low African-American population. The full analysis will be available on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at

As I’ve been conducting radio outreach around the upcoming release of this analysis, I’ve been listening to A LOT of Tracy Chapman’s songs, which remain relevant in the fight to end hunger and poverty in the United States today.

Below, is Tracy Chapman’s live version of “Fast Car,” which highlights a family’s plight to live above the poverty line, and the intersecting factors that make this difficult, like long commutes to workplaces on low-wages, addiction, unstable housing arrangements, school dropout rates and more.

Can you think of other songs or artists who address hunger and poverty?

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