September is Hunger Action Month

Anti-hunger advocates from Santa Cruz County and across the country will be wearing orange on September 5th in an effort to raise awareness of the more than 50 million people in the US facing hunger—including 16.7 million children. It’s just one of the many awareness events taking place throughout the month in recognition of Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month—a campaign to help end hunger in our country.


Here in Santa Cruz County, one in four children are hungry or malnourished and approximately 54,000 people receive food assistance each month from Second Harvest through its network of 200 agencies and programs.

Events Summary: Three Food Bank Employees to Take CalFresh Challenge September 15-21st

The CalFresh Challenge encourages participants to experience what life is like for millions of low-income Americans facing hunger. Second Harvest CalFresh Outreach Workers, Luisa, Sandra and Yaceth will take the CalFresh Challenge the week of September 15th. Their food budget for the week will be based on the average CalFresh benefit, which is $4.50 per person per day for all food and beverages. They will be sharing their experiences daily on our blog page, which we encourage you to read and share with your community.

We will post healthy recipes our web site every week prepared within the CalFresh budget. Also, be sure to look for the Hunger Action Month orange banner hanging on Main Street in Watsonville beginning September 9th. Throughout the month, anti-hunger advocates will be attending city council meetings and speaking with the County Board of Supervisors to advocate for people facing hunger.


SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)* Facts

• Over 47 million low-income Americans participate in SNAP to help purchase food.

• 76 percent of SNAP households include a child, an elderly person, or a disabled person. These  vulnerable households receive 83 percent of all SNAP benefits.

• 83 percent of SNAP households have incomes at or below 100 percent of the poverty guideline ($19,530 for a family of 3 in 2013). These households receive 91 percent of all SNAP benefits.

• Program eligibility is limited to households with gross income of no more than 130 percent of the federal poverty level and no more than $2000 in assets. Participants must also meet citizenship requirements.

• The average SNAP household has about 2 people, with a gross monthly income of $744 and countable assets of just $331.

• The average monthly SNAP benefit per person was $133.41 in FY2012, or less than $1.50 per person per meal.

• 90 percent of SNAP benefits are redeemed by day 21 of the benefit period – meaning most SNAP benefits are not enough to last recipients all month.

All SNAP participants will see a drop in their benefits on November 1, 2013 – the average decrease will be $36 for a family of four. Over the entire year, the average family of four will have $396 less to spend on food.

 *CalFresh in California


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