10 Facts About Food Stamps in California

In this post, we’re going to uncover 10 Facts About Food Stamps in California. The California Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as CalFresh or food stamps provides eligible, low-income households with monthly cash benefits to purchase nutritious foods from approved grocery stores. The program is run by the California Department of Social Services but the application and distribution of benefits happen at the county level.

Check out our 10 Facts about the California Food Stamps Program below.

"Facts About Food Stamps in California"

10 Facts About Food Stamps in California

Here is data about CalFresh from The Public Policy Institute of California.

About 4.8 million Californians—one in eight—participate each month in CalFresh.

Additionally, about 6.5 million Californians are eligible for CalFresh, according to the California Department of Social Services 2022.

Also, roughly half of California’s young children participate in CalFresh by the time they turn six.

Furthermore, as of January 2022, the average monthly benefit per participant was $262.

In California, families are eligible for Food Stamps when their incomes fall under 130% of the federal poverty line ($3,518 a month in 2023 for a family of five).

Number of People on Food Stamps in California – 2022 Update

As of June 2022, there are currently 2,684,296 households receiving SNAP benefits or Food Stamps in California, with about 4,741,370 Californians receiving benefits.

Here’s a summary of the latest data on food stamps participation in California for August 2022:

  • Total Number of California Households Receiving Food Stamps: 2,684,296
  • Total Number of People in California Receiving Food Stamps: 4,741,370
  • Amount of Spent on Food Stamps in California for the Month: $1,221,799,875

That is according to the latest data published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

For details on who is on food stamps in California, see our post on the number of people on CalFresh in California and who benefits the most from SNAP in California.

What percentage of California is on Food Stamps?

In the state of California, approximately 11.7% of the population (1 in 9) are receiving food stamps, as of June 2022.

Who Benefits from Food Stamps in California?

Children and households with Elderly and Disabled benefit the most from Food Stamps in California.

See below for the data on the top two categories of recipients that benefit the most from food stamps in California.

Households with Children

California: Percentage of food stamps households with children: 66%

United States: Percentage of food stamps households with children: 66%

Households with the Elderly or the Disabled

California: Percentage of food stamps households with an elderly/disabled person: 19%

United States: Percentage of food stamps households with an elderly/disabled person: 36%

What Percentage of California Households Participate in Food Stamps?

Here’s the percentage of California Households that participate in the CalFresh program.

We have broken down the data by Households in Metro Areas, Small Towns, and Rural Areas.

Additionally, we have compared each segment to the national average.

Percent of households participating in SNAP Metro Areas Small Towns Rural Areas
California 9% 11% 10%
Nationally 13% 15% 16%

What Percentage of California is below the poverty line?

According to data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, here’s the information about the poverty line in California:

  • 11% of the California population lived below the poverty line.
  • 14.5% of children in California lived below the poverty line.
  • 10.7% of older adults in California lived below the poverty line.

Food Stamps Participation & Economic Impact in California

In the state of California, 70% of eligible individuals participated in the food stamps program in 2018, including 59% of eligible
workers.

Furthermore, the food stamps program lifted 833,000 people above the poverty line in California, including 408,000 children, per year between 2013 and 2017, on
average.

Summary – Facts About Food Stamps in California

We hope this post on California Food Stamps Facts was helpful.

Questions?

Please let us know in the comments section below if you have further questions about Food Stamps or EBT Cards.

Also, be sure to check out our other articles about California SNAP and EBT, including:

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