We are a statewide policy and advocacy organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of low income Californians by increasing their access to nutritious, affordable food.

Assessing New Approaches to CalFresh: A Survey

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1.6.2015 Today, CFPA released a survey that finds low-income households in California hold favorable views of CalFresh and existing public efforts to support healthy eating. The survey, conducted by PerryUndem Research/Communication, is also the first of its kind to solicit input from CalFresh participants about oft-debated purchasing rules for CalFresh. According to the survey:

  • CalFresh has a solid standing among participants and eligible households with nearly 7 in 10 (68%) feeling positively about the program.
  • Almost half (45%) of all respondents think CalFresh helps participants eat healthfully. Another 43% of respondents are neutral on this point.
  • Seventy percent of CalFresh participants and eligible households say they have heard of community, state, or nationwide efforts to reduce access to sugary drinks, such as removing soda from vending machines at schools, putting a tax on sugary drinks, limiting the sale of extra-large sugary drinks, or putting a warning label on sodas.
  • Nearly 7 in 10 surveyed households (68%) support efforts to reduce access to sugary drinks so fewer people drink them.
  • More than 80 percent of respondents (81%) report that sugary drinks are bad for one's health. Almost 90 percent of surveyed parents (87%) believe it's important to limit how many sweetened beverages their children consume.
  • Nearly 2 in 3 CalFresh participants and eligible households (65%) support making unflavored milk, 100% juice, and plain water the only drinks that can be purchased with CalFresh benefits if these new rules occur alongside an increase in monthly benefits.

Across the country, disjointed policy debates about SNAP purchases have continued for years. "Until now, a critical voice was missing from these debates: that of SNAP clients," said George Manalo-LeClair, executive director of CFPA. "We must keep this conversation moving forward. We need to test proposed changes to CalFresh to understand what those changes will mean for the millions of Californians who are trying to lead healthy, productive lives and struggling to make ends meet."

Read the full survey report PDF

View the press release. PDF