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Report · September 2011

California’s Food Stamp Program: Participation and Cost Challenges for the State

Caroline Danielson and Jacob Alex Klerman

California’s food stamp program, known as CalFresh, is a critical piece of the state’s safety net and serves 3.8 million Californians. More than half are children. Yet compared to other states, fewer eligible Californians actually participate, and the state’s administrative costs are higher. Examining historical data from all 50 states, the authors find that ending mandatory fingerprinting of adult CalFresh enrollees would likely increase participation and reduce costs.


Health & Safety Net