FOOD INSECURITY is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a lack of consistent access to enough food, including reduced access to quality, variety, and nutritionally adequate food, for an active, healthy life. Food insecurity can effect anyone, including older adults, children and rural communities. Individuals and families that experience food insecurity may be forced to make a choice between paying rent, filling a pharmacy prescription, or buying nutritious foods. Over time, the combine impact of making these trade-offs and the associated stress can increase the risk of developing chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease and make managing those conditions more difficult. 

The food insecurity dashboard below can be used as a tool to help measure and track how improvements in the emergency food system reduce food insecurity levels over time. 

Food Bank Utilization and Need Map

The map below of Napa County shows the proportion of potentially food insecure households (measured as living below 200% federal poverty level) and the proportion using the food bank, divided into three categories high, moderate, and low. 

The areas in red have the highest proportion of households that are living below 200% of the federal poverty level (200% FPL) but also the lowest proportion of households using the food bank. The areas in peach have a moderate proportion of households living below 200% FPL but have a lower proportion using the food bank. Census tracts with these colors (red and peach) suggest that many households with food insecurity may not be accessing the food bank in these areas.

The areas with shades of blue have higher food bank use but lower proportion of those living below 200% FPL. The areas in white have low food bank use and low proportion of those living below 200% FPL, and areas in gray have moderate food bank use and moderate proportion of those living below 200% FPL. Census tracts with gray and shades of blue suggest that more households who are food insecure are accessing the food bank in these areas.

Food security status may vary by demographic characteristics other than income alone. The charts below show food security status among Napa County adults living below 200% of the federal poverty level, as measured by the California Health Interview Survey. Overall, 48% of lower income adults indicated that they were food insecure. Food insecurity was highest among individuals in the 25-39 age group (55%). Rates of food insecurity were also higher among Latino (55%) vs. non-Latino (32%) respondents.

Technical Notes

*CHIS Food Security status was estimated among respondents with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. 

Napa County Food Program Survey respondents indicated that having access to additional money and/or employment opportunities would help them be able to eat what they want. Income is an important factor related to food insecurity in Napa County, with economic data indicating that more than half of the workforce (54%) makes $20 or less per hour. 

What would help you or your household be able to eat what you want?

“A higher income. I have an income of $930/month - way below the poverty level (for California) and as of May 1, 2018 my rent will increase by $100! So I'm worried.”

 “Tener mas dinero para comprar mejor comida o fruta y berduras.”

Have more money to buy better food or fruit and vegetables.

“Fortunately, I work and my husband too. So I feel I am able to eat what I want.”

The median income in Napa County for the 2012-2016 time period was $74,609, higher than the state median income of $63,783. Median household incomes by race/ethnicity in Napa County are also higher than the statewide median incomes for all groups. However, the median incomes for Native Americans/Alaska Natives and Hispanic households in the county, $54,859 and $58,849, respectively, are substantially below both the county-wide total and the median incomes for non-Hispanic white and Asian households.