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SACRAMENTO – With calls for Congress to provide additional COVID-19 relief for millions of Americans struggling with the ongoing pandemic and recession,  a new report from the California Budget & Policy Center shows many families do not have enough food on the table, and the problem is particularly acute for Latinx and Black families in California.

The Budget Center report — Not Enough to Eat: California Black & Latinx Children Need Policymakers to Act — highlights information from the Census Bureau’s weekly Household Pulse Survey, which provides information on how COVID-19 is affecting families across the state. According to the Budget Center’s new report, during a four-week period in late June and July:

  • An estimated 1.9 million households with children (15.9%) reported sometimes or often not having enough food to eat. 
  • Latinx and Black households were more likely to lack enough food at home.
  • 21.9% of Latinx households with children reported sometimes or often not having enough to eat.
  • 20.2% Black households with children reported sometimes or often not having enough to eat.

“No child or family should agonize over having enough food to eat. But due to historic and ongoing racial discrimination, this is the reality for Black and Latinx families across California who are blocked from food, health, and income supports,” said Adriana Ramos-Yamamoto, Policy Analyst with the California Budget & Policy Center. “Federal policymakers can ensure California children have access to adequate nutrition that supports their health, development, learning, and overall well-being amid this recession and moving forward.”

Among the policy advances federal lawmakers can make to help children and families: increase the maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefit, and extend Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) through the 2020-21 school year.

Read the full report here: 

Want to learn more about how housing costs are affecting Californians? See the Budget Center’s report:  Staying Home During California’s Housing Affordability Crisis. Learn how paying for housing and other basic needs has widened the economic and racial inequities in accessing and keeping an affordable home across the state.


The California Budget & Policy Center engages in independent fiscal and policy analysis and public education with the goal of improving public policies affecting the economic and social well-being of Californians with low and middle incomes. Support for the Budget Center comes from foundation grants, subscriptions, and individual contributions.

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Kyra Moeller
Communications Strategist

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