Lost Dollars, Empty Plates

CFPA's annual report Lost Dollars,
Empty Plates examines the impact of CalFresh participation on California's state and local economies.

CFPA Primary Contact

Tia Shimada
Nutrition Policy Advocate
Oakland Office

CalFresh Resources

For more on CalFresh, visit our
CalFresh page.

2012 Lost Dollars, Empty Plates

County Press Releases

County press releases are available here:

Full Report

Lost Dollars, Empty Plates 2012 PDF

The Economic Impact of CalFresh Participation

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, California ranks last among all states for participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP -- known as "CalFresh" in California).¹ The low rate of participation harms state and local economies as well as low-income Californians. The Lost Dollars, Empty Plates analysis examines the impact that increased CalFresh participation would have on state, local, and household budgets. In these times of ongoing economic hardship, ensuring that CalFresh reaches all eligible individuals and families is an excellent means of bolstering economic activity while supporting the growing number of Californians in need.

Low CalFresh participation means less for all Californians – less nutrition assistance for eligible households, less economic activity, and less sales tax revenue for the state and local governments. These losses can be mitigated by eliminating unnecessary barriers to CalFresh participation. For more on priority actions to improve CalFresh, please see the full Lost Dollars, Empty Plates report. PDF


¹ USDA-FNS, Reaching Those in Need: State Food Stamp Participation Rates in 2009, December 2011. PDF

Summary Tables

These tables list, for the state and each of the 58 counties, the estimated loss of federal benefits and associated economic activity resulting from the underutilization of CalFresh.

Printable tables PDF

LDEP County Summary Table 1

LDEP County Summary Table 2