Counties with the highest rate of food insecurity in Illinois

Written by:
September 7, 2021
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Counties with the highest rate of food insecurity in Illinois

Every county in the United States is home to people experiencing food insecurity, defined by the nonprofit Feeding America as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life.”

The USDA estimates that 89.5% of U.S. households were food secure throughout 2019—that’s 116.0 million people. The COVID-19 pandemic put further strain on households already experiencing food hardship, with Feeding America estimating that 42 million people, or 1 in 8 Americans, may experience food insecurity in 2021. This is a slight improvement from 2020 numbers but still represents an enormous burden for millions of children and adults.

Stacker compiled a list of counties in Illinois with the highest rate of food insecurity using data from Feeding America. Counties are ranked by highest percent of population with food insecurity as of 2019.

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#50. Scott County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.3% (560 total)
--- 3.7% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.0% (160 total)
--- 2.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $262,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.74
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#49. Christian County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.3% (3,730 total)
--- 3.7% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.5% (910 total)
--- 7.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,722,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.70
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TheCatalyst31 // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Hamilton County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.4% (930 total)
--- 4.6% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 12.9% (230 total)
--- 11.6% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $439,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.76
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MattHucke // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Cumberland County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.4% (1,230 total)
--- 4.6% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.7% (340 total)
--- 6.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $580,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.76
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#46. Clark County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.4% (1,790 total)
--- 4.6% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.1% (550 total)
--- 3.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $839,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.74
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#45. Stephenson County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.4% (5,160 total)
--- 4.6% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 16.0% (1,550 total)
--- 9.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,645,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.00
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#44. Peoria County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.4% (20,920 total)
--- 4.6% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.6% (6,800 total)
--- 6.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $11,088,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.10
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#43. Edgar County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.5% (2,000 total)
--- 5.5% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.5% (510 total)
--- 0.7% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $997,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.92
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#42. Wabash County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.6% (1,340 total)
--- 6.4% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 12.5% (320 total)
--- 14.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $644,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.81
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#41. Hancock County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.6% (2,080 total)
--- 6.4% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 16.4% (620 total)
--- 12.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,000,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.81
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#40. LaSalle County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.6% (12,700 total)
--- 6.4% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.4% (3,650 total)
--- 5.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $6,374,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.94
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Boscophotos // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Greene County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.7% (1,530 total)
--- 7.3% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.9% (410 total)
--- 2.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $733,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.80
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#38. Macoupin County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.7% (5,310 total)
--- 7.3% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.4% (1,490 total)
--- 5.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,797,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.08
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#37. Pike County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.9% (1,870 total)
--- 9.2% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.6% (520 total)
--- 0.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $896,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.80
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#36. Calhoun County

- Food insecurity rate: 12.0% (580 total)
--- 10.1% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.5% (160 total)
--- 6.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $314,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.17
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#35. Morgan County

- Food insecurity rate: 12.1% (4,150 total)
--- 11.0% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 16.5% (1,070 total)
--- 13.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,883,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.65
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Alexbaumgarner // Wikimedia

#34. Winnebago County

- Food insecurity rate: 12.1% (34,520 total)
--- 11.0% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 17.6% (11,820 total)
--- 20.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $17,593,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.98
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#33. Fulton County

- Food insecurity rate: 12.2% (4,280 total)
--- 11.9% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.9% (1,110 total)
--- 8.9% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,011,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.75
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IvoShandor // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Livingston County

- Food insecurity rate: 12.2% (4,380 total)
--- 11.9% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.7% (1,220 total)
--- 7.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,106,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.81
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#31. Stark County

- Food insecurity rate: 12.3% (670 total)
--- 12.8% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 17.6% (210 total)
--- 20.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $337,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.94
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#30. Ford County

- Food insecurity rate: 12.3% (1,630 total)
--- 12.8% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 16.3% (490 total)
--- 11.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $859,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.08
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#29. White County

- Food insecurity rate: 12.4% (1,710 total)
--- 13.8% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.9% (480 total)
--- 8.9% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $843,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.88
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#28. Wayne County

- Food insecurity rate: 12.5% (2,060 total)
--- 14.7% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 17.3% (650 total)
--- 18.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $966,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.74
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#27. Williamson County

- Food insecurity rate: 12.7% (8,490 total)
--- 16.5% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 16.0% (2,350 total)
--- 9.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,117,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.84
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Archedamian // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Macon County

- Food insecurity rate: 12.8% (13,510 total)
--- 17.4% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 18.6% (4,370 total)
--- 27.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $6,544,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.83
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#25. Jasper County

- Food insecurity rate: 12.9% (1,230 total)
--- 18.3% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.1% (340 total)
--- 3.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $580,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.76
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#24. Mason County

- Food insecurity rate: 12.9% (1,750 total)
--- 18.3% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 18.0% (510 total)
--- 23.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $884,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.95
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#23. Montgomery County

- Food insecurity rate: 13.0% (3,730 total)
--- 19.3% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 18.7% (1,080 total)
--- 28.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,660,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.60
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#22. Richland County

- Food insecurity rate: 13.1% (2,070 total)
--- 20.2% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.2% (520 total)
--- 2.7% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $986,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.79
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#21. Perry County

- Food insecurity rate: 13.1% (2,790 total)
--- 20.2% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 18.7% (760 total)
--- 28.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,362,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.86
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#20. Fayette County

- Food insecurity rate: 13.1% (2,830 total)
--- 20.2% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 18.3% (810 total)
--- 25.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,271,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.63
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#19. McDonough County

- Food insecurity rate: 13.2% (4,020 total)
--- 21.1% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.2% (740 total)
--- 2.7% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,900,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.77
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#18. Jefferson County

- Food insecurity rate: 13.2% (5,030 total)
--- 21.1% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 20.2% (1,700 total)
--- 38.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,295,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.67
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#17. Vermilion County

- Food insecurity rate: 13.2% (10,200 total)
--- 21.1% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 19.9% (3,660 total)
--- 36.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,949,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.84
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#16. Knox County

- Food insecurity rate: 13.5% (6,840 total)
--- 23.9% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 18.1% (1,810 total)
--- 24.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,278,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.80
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#15. Lawrence County

- Food insecurity rate: 13.7% (2,200 total)
--- 25.7% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 19.6% (570 total)
--- 34.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,042,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.77
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#14. Marion County

- Food insecurity rate: 13.8% (5,200 total)
--- 26.6% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 19.6% (1,700 total)
--- 34.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,480,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.79
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#13. Clay County

- Food insecurity rate: 14.0% (1,860 total)
--- 28.4% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 18.2% (550 total)
--- 24.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $863,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.71
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#12. Union County

- Food insecurity rate: 14.1% (2,400 total)
--- 29.4% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 18.9% (680 total)
--- 29.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,178,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.87
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Daniel Schwen // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Hardin County

- Food insecurity rate: 14.2% (560 total)
--- 30.3% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 19.2% (130 total)
--- 31.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $255,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.66
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#10. Schuyler County

- Food insecurity rate: 14.2% (990 total)
--- 30.3% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.3% (190 total)
--- 2.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $480,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.83
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Bubba73 (Jud McCranie) // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Coles County

- Food insecurity rate: 14.2% (7,280 total)
--- 30.3% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 17.2% (1,600 total)
--- 17.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,342,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.69
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#8. Massac County

- Food insecurity rate: 14.3% (2,030 total)
--- 31.2% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 18.4% (590 total)
--- 26.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $947,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.73
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#7. Pope County

- Food insecurity rate: 14.7% (620 total)
--- 34.9% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 19.0% (120 total)
--- 30.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $291,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.74
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#6. Pulaski County

- Food insecurity rate: 14.7% (810 total)
--- 34.9% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 24.4% (290 total)
--- 67.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $387,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.80
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#5. Jackson County

- Food insecurity rate: 14.9% (8,620 total)
--- 36.7% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 18.8% (2,000 total)
--- 28.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,321,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.93
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#4. Franklin County

- Food insecurity rate: 15.7% (6,120 total)
--- 44.0% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 19.9% (1,720 total)
--- 36.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,024,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.89
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#3. Gallatin County

- Food insecurity rate: 15.9% (810 total)
--- 45.9% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 22.3% (230 total)
--- 52.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $375,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.71
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#2. Saline County

- Food insecurity rate: 16.2% (3,880 total)
--- 48.6% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 21.7% (1,130 total)
--- 48.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,743,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.63
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Alexander County

- Food insecurity rate: 16.3% (1,020 total)
--- 49.5% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 28.6% (420 total)
--- 95.9% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $500,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.87

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