The California Office of Farm to Fork is committed to reducing food insecurity throughout California.
What is Food Insecurity?
Food insecurity means limited access, at times, to sufficient amounts of food for an active, healthy life. This means sometimes not being sure where your next meal is coming from or reducing the quantity and quality of the food you consume. To learn more about how USDA defines and measures food insecurity, click here.
In California, over 6 million people are food insecure, representing more than 15% of the population.
Food insecurity can affect people‚Äôs health and well-being. In California, there are numerous efforts to reduce food insecurity, including the following federal programs:
- CalFresh (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)). CalFresh provides monthly benefits to low income Californians to assist in food purchases at most food stores and markets, including many Certified Farmers’ Markets.
- WIC, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children, provides nutrition assistance to low-income pregnant, postpartum and breastfeeding women, infants and children under the age of five. WIC participants receive monthly paper coupons to purchase specific foods from WIC food packages designed to provide nutrients necessary to healthy development. In addition to access to healthy foods, WIC also provides nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and other services.
- School Meal programs, including the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Department of Defense Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Program and others, provide daily meals and snacks to schoolchildren.
- The Child and Adult Care Food Program provides meals and snacks to low-income children and adults attending licensed nonresidential daycare centers.
- Programs for low-income seniors, including the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, Congregate Nutrition Program, and Home-Delivered Nutrition Services.
- The Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, which distributes food on Indian Reservations as an alternative to SNAP.