FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Nicole Aber, 646-627-7741
CAMPAIGN FACT SHEET
Poverty and Hunger in California Widespread
Middle Class Endangered in State
Ahead of the nominating contest in California, the national nonprofit organization Hunger Free America is shedding light on a number of statistics showing that in both states, poverty and hunger are rampant and economic opportunity is declining.
Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, said: “Many Americans who don’t live in California imagine it to be a paradise, but in reality, the state is one of the epicenters of the American poverty epidemic. In California, economic opportunity is severely restricted and the middle class is endangered.”
- Exit polls from the 2016 Presidential election show that 17 percent of California voters had incomes below $30,000.
- According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 12.8 percent of California residents live in poverty, and the per capita income is only $35,021.
- Los Angeles — the largest city in California — has a poverty rate of 19.2 percent, according to the Census Bureau.
- According to USDA, 12.4 percent of people in California live in food insecure households, unable to consistently afford an adequate supply of food.
- Hunger Free America published the 2019 United States Hunger Atlas, which breaks down state-by-state food insecurity data for working adults, children, and older Americans. In California, more than 1.2 million children — representing 14.2 percent of the state’s children — live in food insecure homes. Despite California having a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum, nearly 1.7 million working adults in the state — almost one in ten — are still food insecure. The minimum wage in California for covered workers is $12.00 per hour; someone working full-time (35 hours per week) each week for a year would earn $21,840 annually. More than 603,409 California older residents — representing 7.8 percent of the state’s residents aged 60 years and up — live in food insecure homes.
To read the presidential candidates’ plans to address poverty, hunger, and economic opportunity, go to the Action for Opportunity website. Action for Opportunity — of which Hunger Free America and A Place at the Table are co-leaders and the Worcester County Food Bank is a major sponsor — is a coalition of more than 30 nonprofits, unions, and advocates calling on the presidential candidates to detail their policies for decreasing poverty and increasing economic opportunity. To interview Hunger Free America CEO Joel Berg about these issues, contact Nicole Aber, Naber@hungerfreeamerica.org, 646-627-7741.