By the Numbers.

Poverty in CA:

  • In 2016, there were 5,891,057 people experiencing poverty in the state of California, or 15.3% of the states population.
  • The California Supplemental Poverty Measure, a more accurate measurement, is 20.6%.
  • Sadly, 22.8% of a the state’s children live in families living below the poverty line¬†(24,250 for a family of 4).
    • In Fresno¬†County the child poverty rate is as 38.9%!
  • California is ranked 51st in the nation for affordable housing.

CA Food Insecurity:

  • The Food Insecurity rate in California is 12.5%, or 4,885,220 people struggling to maintain a regular source of adequate, nutritious food.
  • 33% of all food bank clients and SSI recipients struggling to put food on the table.

SNAP/CalFresh in California:

  • Only 70% of all eligible participate in CalFresh:
    • 74% are household with children,
    • 50% are working families,
    • 30% are families with elderly or disable members.
  • The CalFresh program kept 806,000 out of poverty-417,000 of which were children (2009-2012)
  • More facts and figures about CalFresh.


  • CalWORKs families live at 30% of the Federal Poverty Line.
  • Cuts to the CalWORKs program over the last 2 decades has give 1.1 billion dollars annually for the state budget.

Suplemental Security Income (SSI):

  • In 2017, the maximum SSI federal benefit is $735 per month, or 73% of the federal poverty level.
  • The average SSI benefit is only $435.
  • Women, disproportionately Asian, Black, and Latina, are the majority of SSI/SSP recipients.
  • The state has saved an estimated $10 billion from the cuts to these recipients.
  • California is the only state where SSI/SSP recipients are barred from receiving food stamps.
  • More information about SSI.