Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in Illinois

Written by:
September 13, 2022
Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in Illinois

Food insecurity is a widespread problem in the United States, with people experiencing food insecurity in every single county in the nation. The nonprofit Feeding America describes food insecurity as "a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life."

Food insecurity hits children particularly hard. The USDA estimates that more than 5.5 million children lived in food-insecure households in 2021. Not having consistent access to enough food can affect cognitive abilities, overall health, moods, and attention spans—not to mention the psychological effects of living with scarcity.

Stacker compiled a list of counties in Illinois with the highest rate of food insecure children using data from Feeding America. Counties are ranked by highest percent of children with food insecurity as of 2020. Illinois has a child food insecurity rate of 11.3%, which ranks #10 lowest among all states.

States with the highest rate of food insecure children
#1. Louisiana: 21.5%
#2. New Mexico: 20.5%
#3. Mississippi: 20.4%
#4. Alabama: 19.8%
#5. Arkansas: 19.7%

States with the lowest rate of food insecure children
#1. North Dakota: 8.1%
#2. Massachusetts: 8.8%
#3. New Jersey: 9.0%
#4. Minnesota: 9.3%
#5. New Hampshire: 9.5%

Read on to see where food insecurity is most prevalent in Illinois.

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Boscophotos // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Greene County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.8% (350 total)
--- 3.3% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.6% (1,380 total)
--- 1.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $643,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.89
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#49. Wabash County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.0% (320 total)
--- 3.1% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.9% (1,350 total)
--- 0.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $632,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.91
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IvoShandor // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Livingston County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.1% (1,010 total)
--- 3.0% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.8% (3,860 total)
--- 1.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,931,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.11
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Coalfather // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Macoupin County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.1% (1,260 total)
--- 3.0% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.1% (5,010 total)
--- 0.7% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,592,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.21
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Madison County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.2% (7,640 total)
--- 2.9% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.4% (27,540 total)
--- 1.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $14,160,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.19
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Cass County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.3% (400 total)
--- 2.8% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.3% (1,270 total)
--- 1.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $583,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.85
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Kepper66 // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Bureau County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.4% (940 total)
--- 2.7% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.4% (3,420 total)
--- 1.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,737,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.16
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#43. Bond County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.6% (430 total)
--- 2.5% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.8% (1,790 total)
--- 1.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $884,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.07
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#42. Randolph County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.6% (830 total)
--- 2.5% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.8% (3,440 total)
--- 1.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,538,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.78
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Johnson County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.7% (310 total)
--- 2.4% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.9% (1,350 total)
--- 0.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $645,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.97
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#40. Hancock County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.8% (510 total)
--- 2.3% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.8% (1,920 total)
--- 1.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $907,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.93
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#39. Stark County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.9% (160 total)
--- 2.2% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.7% (580 total)
--- 1.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $283,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.03
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#38. Fulton County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.1% (960 total)
--- 2.0% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.8% (4,080 total)
--- 0.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,039,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.10
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#37. Fayette County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.3% (630 total)
--- 1.8% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.3% (2,640 total)
--- 0.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,202,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.83
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#36. DeKalb County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.4% (3,230 total)
--- 1.7% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.1% (11,580 total)
--- 0.7% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $6,548,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.51
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TheCatalyst31 // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Hamilton County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.8% (260 total)
--- 1.3% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.0% (980 total)
--- 0.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $442,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.80
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#34. Montgomery County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.8% (850 total)
--- 1.3% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.6% (3,620 total)
--- 0.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,687,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.89
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Morgan County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.0% (970 total)
--- 1.1% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.4% (3,870 total)
--- 0.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,778,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.85
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#32. Wayne County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.0% (550 total)
--- 1.1% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.2% (1,990 total)
--- 0.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $950,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.97
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#31. Union County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.2% (540 total)
--- 0.9% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.2% (2,220 total)
--- 1.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,110,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.11
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#30. Williamson County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.4% (2,250 total)
--- 0.7% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.8% (8,550 total)
--- 1.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,086,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.97
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Teemu08 // Wikimedia Commons

#29. LaSalle County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.5% (3,630 total)
--- 0.6% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.7% (12,730 total)
--- 0.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $6,599,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.22
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#28. White County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.5% (450 total)
--- 0.6% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.8% (1,750 total)
--- 1.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $877,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.11
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Larry D. Moore // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Sangamon County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.9% (6,950 total)
--- 0.2% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.2% (21,900 total)
--- 0.6% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $11,684,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.31
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MrHarman // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Kankakee County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.0% (4,010 total)
--- 0.1% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.8% (11,870 total)
--- 1.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $6,094,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.19
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#25. Mason County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.0% (450 total)
--- 0.1% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.9% (1,750 total)
--- 1.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $874,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.10
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#24. Knox County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.3% (1,610 total)
--- 0.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.0% (6,490 total)
--- 1.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,195,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.06
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Bubba73 (Jud McCranie) // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Coles County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.4% (1,510 total)
--- 0.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 14.2% (7,250 total)
--- 2.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,405,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.92
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#22. Stephenson County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.6% (1,600 total)
--- 0.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.6% (5,170 total)
--- 0.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,711,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.26
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#21. Lawrence County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.7% (500 total)
--- 0.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.3% (1,940 total)
--- 0.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $911,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.92
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Pope County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.6% (110 total)
--- 1.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 16.1% (670 total)
--- 4.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $302,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.80
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Clay County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.7% (530 total)
--- 1.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 14.4% (1,900 total)
--- 2.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $892,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.91
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Massac County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.7% (550 total)
--- 1.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 14.3% (2,010 total)
--- 2.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $923,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.85
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Farragutful // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Rock Island County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.1% (5,750 total)
--- 2.0% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.6% (16,590 total)
--- 0.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $8,690,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.25
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#16. Cook County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.3% (206,590 total)
--- 2.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.9% (566,030 total)
--- 0.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $330,445,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.63
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Marion County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.4% (1,590 total)
--- 2.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.7% (5,130 total)
--- 1.9% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,350,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.85
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#14. Peoria County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.6% (8,010 total)
--- 2.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.5% (22,590 total)
--- 0.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $12,025,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.31
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#13. Saline County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.8% (960 total)
--- 2.7% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 15.6% (3,710 total)
--- 3.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,672,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.80
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Daniel Schwen // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Hardin County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.9% (100 total)
--- 2.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 14.2% (550 total)
--- 2.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $248,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.80
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#11. Jackson County

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.0% (2,020 total)
--- 2.9% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 14.2% (8,160 total)
--- 2.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,081,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.11
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Franklin County

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.1% (1,630 total)
--- 3.0% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 16.1% (6,240 total)
--- 4.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,978,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.96
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Perry County

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.1% (780 total)
--- 3.0% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 14.3% (3,010 total)
--- 2.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,401,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.89
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Xing979 // Wikimedia Commons

#8. St. Clair County

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.3% (11,840 total)
--- 3.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.0% (28,830 total)
--- 0.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $15,355,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.31
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Archedamian // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Macon County

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.4% (4,520 total)
--- 3.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.5% (13,070 total)
--- 0.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $6,317,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.00
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#6. Jefferson County

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.9% (1,670 total)
--- 3.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.5% (5,080 total)
--- 1.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,426,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.97
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#5. Gallatin County

- Child food insecurity rate: 20.6% (220 total)
--- 4.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 16.3% (810 total)
--- 4.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $365,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.80
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Vermilion County

- Child food insecurity rate: 20.7% (3,750 total)
--- 4.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.9% (9,930 total)
--- 1.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,889,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.06
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Alexbaumgarner // Wikimedia

#3. Winnebago County

- Child food insecurity rate: 21.2% (14,110 total)
--- 5.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.2% (37,300 total)
--- 1.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $19,105,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.18
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Pulaski County

- Child food insecurity rate: 25.4% (290 total)
--- 9.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 15.1% (820 total)
--- 3.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $394,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.98
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Alexander County

- Child food insecurity rate: 30.8% (420 total)
--- 14.7% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 17.3% (1,040 total)
--- 5.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $497,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.97

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