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Over 2.2 Million Low-Income California Adults are Food Insecure; 658,000 Suffer Hunger

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Publication Date: November 2002

Publisher(s): UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Author(s): Gail G. Harrison; Charles A. DiSogra; George Manolo-LeClair; Jennifer Aguayo

Funder(s): California Food Policy Advocates

Funder(s): California Food Policy Advocates

Topic: Health (Food and nutrition)
Health (Health promotion)

Keywords: food; poverty; insecurity

Type: Brief

Coverage: California


More than 2.24 million low-income adults in California cannot always afford to put food on the table and, as a result, almost one out of three of these adults, 658,000, experiences episodes of hunger. This is a sad reality in a state that has the largest agricultural economy in the United States and produces an abundance of high-quality fruits and vegetables for much of the nation. The ranks of "food insecure" Californians include not just the most impoverished individuals but working adults, retired older persons with fixed incomes, and many parents with children. These new findings are based on data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2001). CHIS 2001 is California's largest representative health survey of the state and its counties. The survey included a sizeable sample of the estimated 8 million low-income Californians -- those living in households with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level.