Hunger and Homelessness in Sacramento 2010 Hunger Food Insecurity Report

Hunger and homelessness in sacramento 2010 hunger

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Hunger and Homelessness in Sacramento 2010 Hunger & Food Insecurity Report November, 2010 Bob Erlenbusch, Farshid Haque, and Michele Watts INTRODUCTION 909 12 th Street, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95814 Bob Erlenbusch, Senior Program Manager: [email protected] 916 447 7063 x335 Inspired by Los Angeles Community Action Network’s [LACAN] survey of homeless people in “skid row” or central city east in 2005, Taken for Granted: Ignoring Downtown Food Insecurity, the Sacramento Hunger Coalition [SHC], conducted a survey at the 2010 Homeless Connect event held on May 22, 2010. The report is based upon 112 surveys of the nearly 800 homeless men and women who attended the event. The goals of the survey are four fold: 1. Educate policymakers, including the Mayor, City Council, Board of Supervisors and members of the Sacramento Steps Forward Policy Board and Interagency Council and the community about hunger and food insecurity issues that homeless people face on an everyday basis; 2. Use the results of the survey to help inform the agencies that work with homeless people, including emergency food providers as well as emergency shelters to examine their nutrition policies and alter them to better meet the food and nutrition needs of homeless people; 3. Use the results of the survey to help inform the Policy Board in its implementation of the “10 Year Plan to End Homelessness” to include hunger and nutrition recommendations as part of a holistic approach to end and prevent homelessness in the Sacramento region; 4. Ensure that homeless consumers are full participants in the implementation of hunger and nutrition recommendations. 70
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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Top Ten Findings: 1. Demographics: Survey respondents were57.7% male; average age is 46 years old; 50.9% people of color; 54.5% single and 10.0% families with children; 2. Health issues and nutrition: 83.0% identify personal health issues, such as acid reflux, hypertension and diabetes, that are exacerbated by lack of access to nutritious food; 3. Food Stamp Assistance: 53.2% currently do not receive Food Stamps [now called Cal Fresh ] and 65.0% of respondents receiving food stamps report they only lasted between 2 3 weeks per month ; 4. Monthly food budget: Nearly 53.0% spend $200 or more on their monthly food budget, including cash and food stamps ; 5. Food Storage and cooking: Nearly 60.0% have no access to food storage facilities; while between 56.0% 84.0% have no access to any kind of cooking facilities; 6. Free food: Access to free food is limited, with even the most common source, “sidewalk giveaways,” only being utilized by 49.9% of respondents; 7. Discrimination: 16.0% of homeless people experience discrimination, harassment and intimidation in accessing restaurants and stores in order to eat; 8. Eating habits and nutritious food: Overall homeless respondents have a fairly high awareness level regarding good nutrition as demonstrated by their purchases and eating habits. However, between 15.0% 25.0% of respondents classified foods such as hot dogs and chips as being good for them, indicating a need for continued nutrition education. Finally, even though respondents may know which foods are not nutritious,
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