Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in Minnesota

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

Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in Minnesota

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 Minnesota 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. Minnesota has a child food insecurity rate of 9.3%, which ranks #4 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 Minnesota.

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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Waseca County

- Child food insecurity rate: 10.6% (460 total)
--- 5.5% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.0% (1,310 total)
--- 4.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $708,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.36
2 / 50
David Daniel // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Cottonwood County

- Child food insecurity rate: 10.7% (290 total)
--- 5.4% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.3% (930 total)
--- 3.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $443,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.96
3 / 50
McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Isanti County

- Child food insecurity rate: 10.7% (1,010 total)
--- 5.4% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.0% (2,810 total)
--- 4.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,484,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.28
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SH5544 // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Otter Tail County

- Child food insecurity rate: 10.8% (1,370 total)
--- 5.3% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.3% (4,260 total)
--- 4.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,992,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.91
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Red Lake County

- Child food insecurity rate: 10.8% (110 total)
--- 5.3% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.0% (320 total)
--- 3.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $169,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.27
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Tony Webster // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Renville County

- Child food insecurity rate: 10.9% (360 total)
--- 5.2% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.3% (1,060 total)
--- 4.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $533,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.12
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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Blue Earth County

- Child food insecurity rate: 11.0% (1,460 total)
--- 5.1% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.4% (5,670 total)
--- 3.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,035,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.33
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Traverse County

- Child food insecurity rate: 11.0% (70 total)
--- 5.1% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.9% (260 total)
--- 3.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $135,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.23
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Tony Webster // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Lyon County

- Child food insecurity rate: 11.1% (730 total)
--- 5.0% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.8% (2,000 total)
--- 4.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $988,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.07
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Myotus // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Roseau County

- Child food insecurity rate: 11.1% (410 total)
--- 5.0% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 6.7% (1,030 total)
--- 5.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $543,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.27
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Big Stone County

- Child food insecurity rate: 11.2% (120 total)
--- 4.9% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.9% (440 total)
--- 2.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $228,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.22
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Rice County

- Child food insecurity rate: 11.5% (1,660 total)
--- 4.6% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 6.4% (4,260 total)
--- 5.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,399,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.50
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Mathieu Nicklay // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Norman County

- Child food insecurity rate: 11.6% (180 total)
--- 4.5% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.7% (500 total)
--- 4.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $276,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.43
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Benton County

- Child food insecurity rate: 11.7% (1,200 total)
--- 4.4% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.1% (3,260 total)
--- 3.7% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,031,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.87
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Chippewa County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.0% (330 total)
--- 4.1% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.3% (980 total)
--- 3.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $493,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.12
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Freeborn County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.0% (800 total)
--- 4.1% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.6% (2,320 total)
--- 4.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,215,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.25
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Morrison County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.3% (970 total)
--- 3.8% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.6% (2,830 total)
--- 3.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,399,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.07
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Lake County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.4% (230 total)
--- 3.7% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.2% (870 total)
--- 3.6% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $463,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.31
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Myotus // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Polk County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.4% (950 total)
--- 3.7% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.7% (2,730 total)
--- 3.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,439,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.27
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Tony Webster // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Carlton County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.5% (1,000 total)
--- 3.6% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.9% (3,160 total)
--- 2.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,540,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.03
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Faribault County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.6% (380 total)
--- 3.5% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.4% (1,150 total)
--- 3.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $602,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.25
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Kandiyohi County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.6% (1,310 total)
--- 3.5% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 6.8% (2,910 total)
--- 5.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,464,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.12
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Gobonobo // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Grant County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.7% (170 total)
--- 3.4% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.9% (470 total)
--- 3.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $244,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.23
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Nobles County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.8% (770 total)
--- 3.3% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 6.6% (1,420 total)
--- 5.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $676,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.96
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McGhiever // Wikicommons

#26. Stearns County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.8% (4,750 total)
--- 3.3% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.9% (12,640 total)
--- 3.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $6,474,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.18
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Checubus // Shutterstock

#25. Hennepin County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.9% (35,590 total)
--- 3.2% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.5% (94,710 total)
--- 4.3% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $60,993,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.00
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Jatakuck // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Watonwan County

- Child food insecurity rate: 12.9% (340 total)
--- 3.2% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.4% (810 total)
--- 4.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $407,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.12
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Martin County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.1% (560 total)
--- 3.0% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.5% (1,870 total)
--- 2.3% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,001,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.33
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Andrew Filer // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Pennington County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.2% (430 total)
--- 2.9% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.3% (1,170 total)
--- 3.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $617,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.27
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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Swift County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.3% (280 total)
--- 2.8% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.0% (840 total)
--- 2.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $422,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.12
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Todd County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.4% (780 total)
--- 2.7% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.6% (2,110 total)
--- 3.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,243,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.66
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Becker County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.5% (1,120 total)
--- 2.6% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.5% (2,910 total)
--- 3.3% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,580,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.37
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Darb02 // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Mower County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.8% (1,390 total)
--- 2.3% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.4% (3,360 total)
--- 3.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,634,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.02
34 / 50
Canva

#17. St. Louis County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.8% (5,240 total)
--- 2.3% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.0% (20,040 total)
--- 1.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $10,676,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.31
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Crow Wing County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.9% (1,930 total)
--- 2.2% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.0% (5,830 total)
--- 2.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,183,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.39
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w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Kanabec County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.0% (490 total)
--- 2.1% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.3% (1,500 total)
--- 2.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $723,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.99
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Cook County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.2% (120 total)
--- 1.9% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.6% (520 total)
--- 2.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $282,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.36
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Hubbard County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.5% (650 total)
--- 1.6% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.2% (1,970 total)
--- 2.6% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,015,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.20
39 / 50
P199 // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Lake of the Woods County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.7% (110 total)
--- 1.4% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.2% (270 total)
--- 4.6% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $132,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.04
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ACNWelc // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Pine County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.0% (860 total)
--- 1.1% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.3% (3,010 total)
--- 1.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,480,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.05
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Ed Lombard // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Koochiching County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.7% (350 total)
--- 0.4% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.5% (1,300 total)
--- 1.3% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $639,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.05
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Itasca County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.9% (1,490 total)
--- 0.2% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.5% (4,760 total)
--- 1.3% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,338,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.05
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Mille Lacs County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.4% (1,020 total)
--- 0.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.3% (2,680 total)
--- 1.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,291,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.99
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Beltrami County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.8% (1,980 total)
--- 0.7% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.4% (5,340 total)
--- 0.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,617,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.04
45 / 50
Myotus // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Clearwater County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.8% (370 total)
--- 0.7% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.2% (1,080 total)
--- 0.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $529,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.04
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McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Wadena County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.9% (590 total)
--- 0.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.3% (1,550 total)
--- 0.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $799,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.20
47 / 50
Mulad // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Ramsey County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.0% (21,620 total)
--- 0.9% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.5% (51,980 total)
--- 2.3% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $31,763,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.80
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Elkman // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Aitkin County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.9% (470 total)
--- 1.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.9% (1,730 total)
--- 0.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $944,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.39
49 / 50
McGhiever // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Cass County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.3% (1,130 total)
--- 2.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.8% (3,180 total)
--- 1.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,799,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.51
50 / 50
Andrew Filer (afiler) // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Mahnomen County

- Child food insecurity rate: 25.3% (440 total)
--- 9.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 16.1% (890 total)
--- 4.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $483,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.37

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