20 percent of Californians had a tough time affording food in 2010
One in five Californians struggled to afford enough food for themselves and their families last year, according to a new report by the Food Research and Action Center.
The rate in California was slightly higher than the national average of 18%.
INTERACTIVE: Check out rates near you and how the states compare.
Jim Weill, president of the Washington-based nonprofit group, said the figures underscore the need for a strong nutrition safety net -- including food stamps and school meals -- for families that continue to struggle even as the economy begins to recover.
"While the nation's Great Recession may have technically ended in mid-2009, it has not yet ended for many of the nation's households," Weill said in a statement Thursday. "For them, 2010 was the third year of a terrible recession that is widely damaging the ability to meet basic needs."
The report was based on data collected for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which conducted telephone interviews with more than 350,000 people in 2010, including 35,543 in California.
-- Alexandra Zavis