Food Insecurity

State and local data show that low-income households are struggling to afford enough food in the wake of the recession.

CFPA Primary Contact

Tia Shimada
Director of Programs
Oakland Office
510.433.1122 x109

County Data

For county data on food insecurity, nutrition, and health measures, visit our County Profiles page.

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In the Wake of the Recession: Food-Insecure Californians

According to data from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research's California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), at least 4 million low-income Californians struggled with food insecurity during 2011-12.

Food-insecurity is the inability to consistently afford enough food. Researchers find that food-insecure adults face higher risks of chronic diseases (like diabetes and hypertension) as well as depression and poor mental health. For children, food insecurity is also linked to poor academic outcomes.

Food insecurity is a reality for many Californians, but it doesn't have to be.

"While more than four million food-insecure Californians may seem like an overwhelming number, strong public policies once built a safety net in this country that virtually eliminated hunger. Our local, state, and federal leaders have the power to ensure that all Californians are well nourished each and every day of the year. We are calling on those leaders to act," says George Manalo-LeClair, Executive Director of CFPA.

Californians need year-round access to nutritious, affordable food in order to lead healthy and productive lives.

  • Congress should support a Farm Bill that preserves and protects SNAP funding.
  • The Governor and California State Legislature should invest in child care nutrition so that low-income providers can offer our youngest children access to healthy meals.
  • State and local leaders should make certain that school meals are served at a time and place when students are
    best able to benefit from these resources.

Press Releases

County-specific press releases about the new food insecurity data are available here:

CFPA's County Nutrition & Food Insecurity Profiles

CFPA's County Nutrition & Food Insecurity Profiles provide local data describing the need for nutritious, affordable food and the extent to which the federal nutrition programs can help address that need. The profiles are updated regularly as new data become available.

Visit the County Profile page.