Take a Fresh Look at CalFresh

WHO USES FOOD STAMPS (CalFresh in California, known nationally as SNAP)?

Nationwide, over 60% of recipient households have a child, an elderly member or a member with a disability.

In California, about 62.2% of low-income children ages 0 to 5, 58.7% of those ages 6 to 12, and 44.7% of those ages 13 to 17 received CalFresh benefits on average in any given month in 2014.

In Contra Costa County, half of CalFresh participants are children. 



CalFresh has an economic multiplier of $1.70. In other words, every $5 in new benefits generates as much as $9 of economic activity, as it supports wages for producers, processors, distributors and retailers alike.

Contra Costa County loses more than $91 million annually in economic activity because not everyone eligible for CalFresh is participating (based on the economic multiplier).


Among households who receive SNAP, food insecurity rates are reduced by up to 30%.

Young children enrolled in food stamps were 16% less likely to be obese adults.

Food insecurity in pregnant women leads to iron deficiency and subsequent shortcomings in birth weight and neonatal cognitive development and an increase in birth defects.

Food insecurity in childhood is a predictor of chronic disease in adulthood.


Low-income individuals and families can get help to buy the food they need for good health through CalFresh. CalFresh stretches a tight food budget to keep families well-fed and healthy.

If you or someone you can use this benefit, please contact the Food Bank by filling out this short form, emailing calfresh@foodbankccs.org, or calling 925-677-7037.

The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano has bilingual staff ready to assist you with the CalFresh eligibility evaluation and application process. The CalFresh outreach team also provides free CalFresh information and applications to help raise awareness about CalFresh/SNAP.


USDA, Characteristics of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Households: Fiscal Year 2013, December 2014

Public Policy Institute of California, Just the FACTS The CalFresh Food Assistance Program, Accessed February 2016.

Analysis completed by Michael Sumner, Contra Costa County Employment & Human Services Dept., Policy & Planning Division. Data and assistance provided by Victoria Thompson. Last updated Sept. 8, 2014.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, California Food Assistance Program Fact Sheet, February 2015

California Food Policy Advocates, Nutrition & Food Insecurity Profile Contra Costa County, August 2015

White House Council of Economic Advisors, Long-Term Benefits of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, December 2015

Bread for the World Institute, 2016 Hunger Report: The Nourishing Effect, November 2015