By Aisa Villarosa, Associate Director of Policy and Research
Take your pick of produce from any grocery aisle in the nation, and it’s likely to come from California’s Central Valley.
The Central Valley contains less than one percent of total farmland in the United States; and yet, the region grows nearly half of the country’s fruits, vegetables, and nuts, carrying a total annual value of over $33 billion. This abundance is achieved through the year-round efforts of the Valley’s agricultural workers — thousands of women, men, and children who toil through scorching days and cold nights, with little pay or job protection.
Insight’s new report, Past the Drought: Overcoming Barriers to Economic Security in California’s Central Valley, spotlights how, despite decades of invaluable contributions to the nation’s economic growth, the Valley is the poorest region in California — with nearly 4 out of every 10 households unable to afford basic needs. Using Insight’s Self-Sufficiency Standard, the report highlights key findings and offers recommendations for change so that all Central Valley residents can have a chance to thrive.
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