Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in Massachusetts

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September 13, 2022
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Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in Massachusetts

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 Massachusetts 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. Massachusetts has a child food insecurity rate of 8.8%, which ranks #2 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 Massachusetts.

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Jameslwoodward // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Norfolk County

- Child food insecurity rate: 6.7% (9,870 total)
--- 9.4% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.0% (49,120 total)
--- 4.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $33,539,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.24
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Jellymuffin40 // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Middlesex County

- Child food insecurity rate: 6.9% (21,840 total)
--- 9.2% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.2% (116,020 total)
--- 4.6% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $80,829,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.33
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John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Hampshire County

- Child food insecurity rate: 8.7% (2,030 total)
--- 7.4% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.1% (13,090 total)
--- 3.7% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $9,159,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.35
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thisisbossi // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Nantucket

- Child food insecurity rate: 9.9% (180 total)
--- 6.2% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.8% (870 total)
--- 4.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $658,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.70
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Jwgetchell // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Dukes County

- Child food insecurity rate: 10.3% (300 total)
--- 5.8% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.2% (1,430 total)
--- 3.6% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,082,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.70
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Schlitzer90 // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Plymouth County

- Child food insecurity rate: 10.9% (12,140 total)
--- 5.2% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.5% (39,020 total)
--- 4.3% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $26,592,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.23
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Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Worcester County

- Child food insecurity rate: 11.9% (20,700 total)
--- 4.2% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.1% (75,560 total)
--- 2.7% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $46,851,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.85
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Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

#7. Barnstable County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.4% (3,990 total)
--- 3.7% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.6% (18,410 total)
--- 3.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $13,929,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.70
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AlexiusHoratius // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Franklin County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.6% (1,540 total)
--- 3.5% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.9% (7,010 total)
--- 1.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,431,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.93
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Bobak // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Essex County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.5% (22,660 total)
--- 2.6% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.4% (73,630 total)
--- 2.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $48,450,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.09
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Protophobic // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Berkshire County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.4% (3,070 total)
--- 1.7% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.3% (12,950 total)
--- 1.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $8,325,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.99
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Marcbela (Marc N. Belanger) // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Bristol County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.8% (18,440 total)
--- 0.3% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.0% (61,940 total)
--- 0.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $36,758,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.69
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Real Window Creative // Shutterstock

#2. Hampden County

- Child food insecurity rate: 20.4% (20,500 total)
--- 4.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.2% (57,150 total)
--- 0.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $32,930,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.58
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Sean Pavone // Shutterstock

#1. Suffolk County

- Child food insecurity rate: 22.0% (29,220 total)
--- 5.9% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.2% (97,820 total)
--- 0.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $69,954,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.44

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