Los Angeles County has largest food insecure population in US, data shows

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- There are new numbers when it comes to the growing challenge known as food security.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health released the data Thursday.

"We have more than half a million households with incomes that are below 300 percent of poverty that are suffering from food insecurity," said Cindy Harding, Chief Deputy Director of Los Angeles County of Public Health.

Those families of four making less than $71,000 often lack enough money to buy nutritious food. LA county has the largest insecure population in America.

"Many families have to face difficult decisions: whether to purchase food or pay the rent," said Angelo Salazar of the Department of Social Services.

Salazar wants people to know that they may be eligible to receive CalFresh, part of the Federal SNAP program, even if they receive WIC or SSI.

"Maybe you're undocumented but your children may still be eligible," said Salazar.

Northgate Gonzales Market is teaming up on the project.

"We partner with other non-profits in the community like the department of health and the Champions for Change," said Theresa Blanco, the wellness director for the markets.

According to the Los Angeles Food Policy Council there are more than 80 private and government organizations that are helping to solve the problem. But the message is often going ignored.

The three biggest initiatives of the program "Champions for Change" are eating healthy, moving more and cutting back on soda in favor of more water.
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