Navigation Links
Recession's bite: Nearly 4 million Californians struggled to put food on table during downturn
Date:7/9/2012

An estimated 3.8 million California adults particularly those in households with children, as well as low-income Latinos could not afford to put adequate food on the table during the recent recession, according to a new policy brief by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

In 2009, about one in six low-income Californians had "very low food security," which describes multiple instances in which people had to cut their food intake and experienced hunger, according to the study, which is based on data from the California Health Interview Survey. This is double the one-in-12 figure from 2001.

Food insecurity skyrocketed during the "Great Recession" of 2007󈝵, when California's unemployment rate increased from 5 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2009. In addition, inflation-adjusted median household income decreased by nearly 5 percent from 2009 to 2010, the largest decline on record, the study's authors noted.

As California continues to struggle with a lethargic economic recovery, the authors noted that many families may still be struggling.

"With the economy still in a slump, many families are grappling with difficult choices: 'Do I pay the bills or buy food to feed my children?'", said study co-author Gail Harrison, a faculty associate at the Center for Health Policy Research and a professor at UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health. "In a state that is the nation's breadbasket, it's sad to see that so many people don't know where their next meal is coming from."

Struggling households are not alone in facing difficult food choices. This week, the House Agriculture Committee holds hearings on the farm bill, which funds the nation's largest anti-hunger program. In June, the Senate passed its version of the farm bill and made $4.5 billion in cuts to food stamp benefits.

"Congress can help families avoid food insecurity by maintaining an adequate and resilient safety net," said Matthew Sharp of California Food Policy Advocates, which funded the study.

Food insecurity is defined as not having enough food or not having enough income to ensure a balanced diet. It is associated with poorer physical and mental health, including an increased risk of depression, diabetes and hypertension, the study's authors said.

Among the study's findings:

The highest need

Nearly half of low-income households with children could not afford sufficient food, and approximately 51 percent of Spanish-speaking, low-income adults experienced food insecurity the highest level of food insecurity among all low-income groups.

Even married, employed individuals at risk

From 2001 to 2009, the inability to buy sufficient food rose among all low-income groups, including people who were married (an increase of 29 percent to 40 percent) and those who were employed (28 percent to 43 percent).

Northern Bay Area/SoCal counties see steep increase

Food insecurity increased in most California counties between 2007 and 2009. Northern Bay Area counties experienced a 14 percent increase, and in Southern California counties other than Los Angeles, there was a 10 percent increase.

Safety-net programs catch the neediest

Only people who were enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which was formerly the Food Stamp Program and is known as CalFresh in California, did not experience an increase, highlighting the importance of such safety-net programs.

Also important was the effect of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, which boosted SNAP benefits by 17 percent, the authors noted. Those subsidies are set to expire in 2013.

"Without the ARRC, many Californians would be in much deeper poverty," Harrison said. "And with millions of Californians still struggling economically, 2013 is too soon to consider ending this important life-support for our poorest residents."

The authors also recommend increased efforts to enroll low-income Californians in nutrition assistance programs, such as free school breakfast and lunch programs. More than half of the state's 6 million public school students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, yet less than 1 million children eat breakfast at school.


'/>"/>
Contact: Gwen Driscoll
gdriscoll@ucla.edu
310-794-0930
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Lung changes are present in nearly half of ACPA positive RA patients at disease onset
2. Clemson professor awarded nearly $600,000 4-year grant to study language of plants
3. Southeast program to fight diabetes awarded nearly $10 million by HHS
4. Psychiatric Patients Often Wait Nearly 12 Hours in ER
5. Nearly 1 in 4 grandparents store prescription medicines where children can easily find them
6. TMC institutions get $20 million renewal grant for translational medicine center
7. Tufts Medical Center researchers receive $10 million NIH grant to test blood clot prevention drug
8. 5 Million Test Tube Babies Born to Date
9. Taxman Foundation pledges $2.5 million to boost training of digestive disease experts
10. Jaeckle Fleischmann Environmental Attorneys Recover Additional $5 Million for Solvent Chemical
11. 40 Million Americans Addicted to Cigarettes, Alcohol or Drugs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... , ... Mystic Buddha Publishing House presents Valentine’s Day tips on different forms ... - Dr. Frederick Lenz. , According to Publisher Roger Cantu, “Blue Skies ... teaching and helping others. Valentine’s Day celebrates love in all its forms, and ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The Lymphoma Research Foundation ... research and serving the lymphoma community through a comprehensive series of education programs, ... philanthropic community at its 10th anniversary Fashion Luncheon on Monday, February 8, 2016. ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... PA (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Each ... event will be held in Anaheim, CA at the Anaheim Convention Center. Almost 10,000 ... can see new therapy products in action, learn more about their chosen field and ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... T.E.N., a technology ... for the ISE Southeast Awards 2016. Finalists and winners of the ISE® Awards ... Executive Forum and Awards Gala on March 15, 2016 at the Westin Peachtree ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Pa. (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Every ... heaters. , This winter the West Penn Burn Center, part of the ... Company #1, to bring you the “Space Heaters Need Space” campaign. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Feb. 12, 2016  Innophos Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... specialty ingredients, today announced that it will host a live ... ET to discuss its fourth quarter and full year 2015 ... The press release detailing fourth quarter and full year results ... close. --> --> ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , February 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... nicht anders vermerkt)   http://www.sedar.com ... http://www.telestatherapeutics.com abrufbar.    --> ... des Unternehmens http://www.telestatherapeutics.com abrufbar.    ... (TSX:TST; PNK:BNHLF) veröffentlichte heute seinen Konzernabschluss des ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Calif. , Feb. 12, 2016  SI-BONE, Inc., a medical ... ® ("iFuse"), a minimally invasive surgical (MIS) device indicated for ... National Government Services, Inc. (NGS), the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) covering ... , Maine , Massachusetts ... , New York , Rhode Island ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: