Barriers to Participation in the Food Stamp Program Among Food Pantry Clients in Los Angeles

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Substantial numbers of food pantry clients are eligible for food stamps but do not receive them. Background characteristics of 14317 food pantry users in Los Angeles were analyzed to provide information helpful in food stamp outreach programs. Ninety percent of food pantry users were living well below poverty level, 59% were Hispanic, and 44% were homeless. Only 15% of the food pantry clients received food stamps, with homelessness and limited English language skills acting as barriers to food stamp program participation.

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