Last week, the Sacramento Food Bank gave away turkeys and hams to 8,000 families in a line so long it forced a street closure. Loaves and Fishes served 1,100 meals to the homeless. All those free meals are a real life indicator that more Californians have lost access to food.
It's a condition called food insecurity. It means limited or uncertain access to nutritionally adequate or safe food. Among adults, Sacramento County ranked 8th in the state for food insecurity.
According to 2009 report, it showed California had 3.7 million people without reliable access to food.
Bob Erlenbusch of the Sacramento County Housing Alliance which oversees the Sacramento Hunger Coalition says while 09 data are the most recent, they are predictors.
Erlenbusch: "A couple of years from now we will look back at the data for 2010 -2011and see a continuing increase in the percentage of adults who are food insecure in our community."
The report is from the California Health Interview Survey at UCLA. Erlenbusch says Sacramento's food insecure numbers are dramatic.
Erlenbusch: "They're also very telling of people who are at risk of becoming homeless."
Meanwhile, enrollment has doubled over the past five years in CalFresh, the federal program once called food stamps. As of September, nearly 4 million Californians were signed up.