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Key Findings from FRAC’s 2018 Food Hardship Report – A Look at Food Hardship and Hunger in California

August 1, 2018


California is home to two of America’s hungriest cities according to a new food hardship report released today by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). The report titled How Hungry is America? documents local, state, regional and national hunger trends and found that hunger and food hardship remain critical issues for low-income Americans, with some of California’s cities hit the hardest. While California’s overall food hardship rate decreased, two of America’s hungriest cities, Bakersfield (#1) & Fresno (#3), sit in California’s Central Valley that feeds the world.

The report’s key findings illuminate the challenges low-income households face both here in California and across the country as the national food hardship rate rose from 15.1 percent in 2016 to 15.7 percent in 2017. The report also highlighted how families with children fared, as households with children are particularly vulnerable to increased rates of food hardship and hunger. In fact, the national food hardship rate for households with children is one-third higher than for households without children increasing to 17.5 percent in 2016 to 18.4% in 2017. 

Now more than ever, it is critical that the Farm Bill not cut SNAP, when 4 million Californians depend on the vital nutrition benefits that SNAP provides to put food on the table. As Congress prepares to conference the House and Senate versions of the Farm Bill, SNAP must be protected and not cut to ensure that our most vulnerable communities have access to the food they need to live, learn and thrive.

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