Counties with the highest rate of food insecurity in Iowa

Written by:
February 5, 2022
Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the highest rate of food insecurity in Iowa

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 Iowa 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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Bill Whittaker // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Tama County

- Food insecurity rate: 8.6% (1,470 total)
--- 21.1% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.6% (560 total)
--- 6.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $745,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.96

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Jasper County

- Food insecurity rate: 8.7% (3,210 total)
--- 20.2% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 11.7% (970 total)
--- 19.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,722,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.14

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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Worth County

- Food insecurity rate: 8.8% (660 total)
--- 19.3% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.0% (220 total)
--- 4.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $342,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.04

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Phinn // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Emmet County

- Food insecurity rate: 8.8% (830 total)
--- 19.3% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.8% (270 total)
--- 5.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $470,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.31

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Nst101 // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Calhoun County

- Food insecurity rate: 8.8% (850 total)
--- 19.3% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.7% (280 total)
--- 6.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $430,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.96

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Ann Sullivan-Larson // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Hardin County

- Food insecurity rate: 8.8% (1,500 total)
--- 19.3% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.5% (480 total)
--- 7.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $776,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.03

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Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Fremont County

- Food insecurity rate: 8.9% (620 total)
--- 18.3% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.1% (200 total)
--- 10.3% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $326,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.07

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Ann Sullivan-Larson // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Wright County

- Food insecurity rate: 8.9% (1,140 total)
--- 18.3% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.1% (430 total)
--- 3.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $592,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.04

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Tony Webster // Wikicommons

#42. Woodbury County

- Food insecurity rate: 8.9% (9,160 total)
--- 18.3% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.3% (3,570 total)
--- 8.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,775,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.05

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formulanone // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Scott County

- Food insecurity rate: 8.9% (15,320 total)
--- 18.3% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.7% (5,620 total)
--- 6.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $7,951,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.04

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Monroe County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.0% (700 total)
--- 17.4% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 11.1% (200 total)
--- 24.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $335,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.80

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Jason McLaren // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Greene County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.0% (810 total)
--- 17.4% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 12.0% (250 total)
--- 17.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $441,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.18

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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Cherokee County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.0% (1,020 total)
--- 17.4% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.2% (320 total)
--- 9.6% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $538,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.09

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Nst101 // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Audubon County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.1% (510 total)
--- 16.5% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.7% (180 total)
--- 7.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $270,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.09

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Pettingills // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Pocahontas County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.1% (620 total)
--- 16.5% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.0% (190 total)
--- 11.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $319,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.01

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Dan Breyfogle // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Cerro Gordo County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.2% (3,960 total)
--- 15.6% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 12.7% (1,120 total)
--- 13.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,066,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.05

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Skinzfan23 // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Pottawattamie County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.2% (8,550 total)
--- 15.6% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 12.9% (2,830 total)
--- 11.6% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,254,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.91

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Scott Romine // Wikimedia Commons

#33. O'Brien County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.3% (1,280 total)
--- 14.7% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 12.9% (420 total)
--- 11.6% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $676,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.09

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Billwhittaker // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Henry County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.3% (1,850 total)
--- 14.7% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.8% (640 total)
--- 1.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $879,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.78

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Daniel Hartwig // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Marshall County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.3% (3,710 total)
--- 14.7% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.5% (1,360 total)
--- 7.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,746,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.75

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Jason McLaren // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Adams County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.4% (350 total)
--- 13.8% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.6% (100 total)
--- 6.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $182,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.04

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Keokuk County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.5% (970 total)
--- 12.8% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.7% (320 total)
--- 6.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $509,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.07

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Alejandro Pulido // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Kossuth County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.5% (1,430 total)
--- 12.8% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.9% (460 total)
--- 4.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $814,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.33

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Jon Roanhaus // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Jackson County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.5% (1,850 total)
--- 12.8% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.9% (640 total)
--- 2.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $947,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.99

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C. A. Tucker // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Adair County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.6% (680 total)
--- 11.9% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.8% (210 total)
--- 5.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $370,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.19

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Woodard // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Fayette County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.7% (1,930 total)
--- 11.0% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.4% (640 total)
--- 5.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $987,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.99

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Jason McLaren // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Clarke County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.8% (910 total)
--- 10.1% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.6% (340 total)
--- 0.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $497,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.20

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Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Page County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.8% (1,500 total)
--- 10.1% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.0% (430 total)
--- 4.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $801,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.12

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Sector001 // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Van Buren County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.9% (710 total)
--- 9.2% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.8% (260 total)
--- 8.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $327,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.69

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Lucas County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.9% (850 total)
--- 9.2% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.4% (290 total)
--- 1.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $432,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.97

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Judd Furlong // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Montgomery County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.9% (1,000 total)
--- 9.2% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.7% (340 total)
--- 0.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $505,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.96

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Scott Romine // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Clay County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.9% (1,600 total)
--- 9.2% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.4% (560 total)
--- 5.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $876,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.20

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Jefferson County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.9% (1,790 total)
--- 9.2% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 11.9% (340 total)
--- 18.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $850,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.78

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David Wilson // Wikimedia

#17. Black Hawk County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.9% (13,150 total)
--- 9.2% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.4% (4,430 total)
--- 5.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $6,622,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.95

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Kevin Schuchmann // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Mahaska County

- Food insecurity rate: 10.2% (2,260 total)
--- 6.4% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.6% (780 total)
--- 0.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,145,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.96

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Brandonrush // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Humboldt County

- Food insecurity rate: 10.3% (980 total)
--- 5.5% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.7% (330 total)
--- 0.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $508,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.03

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Jsayre64 // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Clayton County

- Food insecurity rate: 10.3% (1,820 total)
--- 5.5% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.3% (540 total)
--- 2.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $935,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.00

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Richc80 // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Clinton County

- Food insecurity rate: 10.3% (4,820 total)
--- 5.5% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.1% (1,610 total)
--- 3.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,303,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.79

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Bill Whittaker // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Webster County

- Food insecurity rate: 10.6% (3,860 total)
--- 2.8% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.1% (1,170 total)
--- 3.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,838,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.79

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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Wapello County

- Food insecurity rate: 10.7% (3,770 total)
--- 1.8% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 16.4% (1,310 total)
--- 12.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,723,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.67

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Cass County

- Food insecurity rate: 10.8% (1,410 total)
--- 0.9% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.4% (420 total)
--- 1.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $718,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.98

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Scott Romine // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Wayne County

- Food insecurity rate: 10.9% (700 total)
--- 0.0% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 19.0% (310 total)
--- 30.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $325,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.72

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Joe Elliott // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Crawford County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.1% (1,900 total)
--- 1.8% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.6% (660 total)
--- 6.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $980,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.02

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JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Monona County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.2% (980 total)
--- 2.8% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 14.6% (260 total)
--- 0.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $506,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.02

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Gvetterick // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Union County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.3% (1,400 total)
--- 3.7% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.3% (420 total)
--- 4.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $721,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.01

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Robert Thall // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Lee County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.3% (3,860 total)
--- 3.7% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 18.0% (1,340 total)
--- 23.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,719,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.60

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Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Floyd County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.5% (1,810 total)
--- 5.5% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 18.6% (660 total)
--- 27.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $968,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.13

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Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Decatur County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.6% (930 total)
--- 6.4% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 16.0% (280 total)
--- 9.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $464,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.92

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Ian Poellet // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Des Moines County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.9% (4,690 total)
--- 9.2% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 19.5% (1,740 total)
--- 33.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,272,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.83

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Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Appanoose County

- Food insecurity rate: 13.7% (1,710 total)
--- 25.7% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 20.3% (550 total)
--- 39.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $783,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.68

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