According to the latest research provided by the San Diego Hunger Coalition, an estimated 485,521 (nearly 1 in 6) people in San Diego County are food insecure. This represents the number of adults and children under 200% of the Federal Poverty Level who do not always have enough food for an active healthy life. The estimates were obtained from a special request to UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research, using 2014 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data.

This research was conducted for Hunger Free San Diego, a collaboration of leading agencies in the fight against hunger that is facilitated by the San Diego Hunger Coalition.  

San Diego County Food Insecurity Rates (California Health Interview Survey 2014)

  • Total food insecure population < 200% Federal Poverty Line (FPL):  485,521
    • 15.7% of total population (3,102,000), or nearly 1 in 6 people
  • Food insecure adults <200% FPL:  315,105
    • 13.3% of total adult population (2,373,000) or more than 1 in 8 adults
    • 38.1% of all adults <200% FPL are food insecure (more than 1 in 3)
  • Children in food insecure households <200% FPL:  170,416
    • 23.4% of total child population (728,000) or nearly 1 in 4 children
    • 53% of all children <200% FPL are in food insecure households (more than half)

San Diego County Food Insecure Demographics (California Health Interview Survey 2014)

  • Nearly 40 percent (38.1%) of low-income adults are food insecure. 
  • Sixty-two percent of food insecure adults are women and 38 percent are men.
  • Three out of four low-income single parents are food insecure.
  • Nearly half (44%) of food insecure adults are living with a disability.
  • 59% of food insecure adults are working.
    • 47.6% of food insecure adults are employed full-time (defined as 21+ hours/week)
      • Comparable to full population (50.4% of all adults are full-time employed)
    • 11.4% of food insecure adults are employed part-time (defined as <20 hours/week)
  • Nearly one half (46.1%) of food insecure adults are Latino.  More than one quarter (27%) are White. (The survey sample size was not large enough to analyze the African American population or other ethnicities.)