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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Hunger In Los Angeles County Affects Over 200,000 Low-Income Adults, Another 560,000 At Risk


Compiled with data from the 2001 California Health Interview Survey, this study found that more than three-quarters of a million low-income adults in Los Angeles County have a difficult time reliably putting enough food on the table and thus are considered "food insecure." Among these adults, 214,000 suffer from hunger and another 561,000 live at risk for hunger day to day. Most importantly, the study found that food insecurity and hunger are found in all parts of the county. Food insecurity among low-income adults is most likely to affect African Americans (36.1%) and Latinos (33.2%), while one out of four low-income Asian adults (25.4%) and one out of five Whites (20.9%) are estimated to experience food insecurity. In addition to the countywide findings, the report estimates food insecurity within the eight service planning areas managed by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and for each of the county's 26 health districts. The authors also make several policy recommendations to address the problem of food insecurity, including increasing capacity and outreach efforts of food banks and charitable food programs and expanding government efforts to increase participation in food assistance programs such as the Food Stamp program.

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