Counties with the highest rate of food insecurity in New Jersey

Written by:
February 5, 2022
Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the highest rate of food insecurity in New Jersey

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 New Jersey 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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Zeete // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Somerset County

- Food insecurity rate: 5.2% (17,040 total)
--- 52.3% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 4.3% (3,160 total)
--- 70.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $11,083,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.80

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Jared Kofsky/PlaceNJ.com // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Hunterdon County

- Food insecurity rate: 5.5% (6,880 total)
--- 49.5% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 4.0% (980 total)
--- 72.6% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,218,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.59

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Mihai_Andritoiu // Shutterstock

#19. Morris County

- Food insecurity rate: 5.8% (28,610 total)
--- 46.8% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 3.9% (4,120 total)
--- 73.3% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $19,277,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.94

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Sussex County

- Food insecurity rate: 6.5% (9,150 total)
--- 40.4% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 7.0% (1,990 total)
--- 52.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $6,245,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.99

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Apc106 // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Burlington County

- Food insecurity rate: 6.6% (29,530 total)
--- 39.4% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 8.8% (8,260 total)
--- 39.7% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $17,615,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.49

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Canva

#16. Bergen County

- Food insecurity rate: 6.7% (62,040 total)
--- 38.5% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 5.1% (10,110 total)
--- 65.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $42,446,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.00

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LittleGun // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Monmouth County

- Food insecurity rate: 7.1% (44,060 total)
--- 34.9% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 6.8% (9,000 total)
--- 53.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $27,728,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.68

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#14. Union County

- Food insecurity rate: 7.3% (40,200 total)
--- 33.0% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 9.2% (12,020 total)
--- 37.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $25,176,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.66

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Zeete // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Middlesex County

- Food insecurity rate: 7.4% (60,910 total)
--- 32.1% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 7.6% (13,640 total)
--- 47.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $34,544,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.32

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Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Gloucester County

- Food insecurity rate: 7.5% (21,930 total)
--- 31.2% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 8.9% (5,740 total)
--- 39.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $12,883,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.44

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Paul Brady Photography // Shutterstock

#11. Mercer County

- Food insecurity rate: 8.2% (30,210 total)
--- 24.8% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 10.1% (7,980 total)
--- 30.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $18,515,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.59

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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Warren County

- Food insecurity rate: 8.6% (9,100 total)
--- 21.1% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 9.5% (2,000 total)
--- 34.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $5,719,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.68

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#9. Ocean County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.0% (53,480 total)
--- 17.4% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 11.7% (16,720 total)
--- 19.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $32,271,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.53

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#8. Camden County

- Food insecurity rate: 9.5% (48,060 total)
--- 12.8% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.0% (15,030 total)
--- 11.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $29,374,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.58

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Sridhar // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Passaic County

- Food insecurity rate: 10.1% (50,810 total)
--- 7.3% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 13.0% (15,610 total)
--- 11.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $30,459,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.51

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Bob Jagendorf // Wikicommons

#6. Atlantic County

- Food insecurity rate: 10.6% (28,280 total)
--- 2.8% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.2% (8,680 total)
--- 4.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $16,568,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.43

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Salem County

- Food insecurity rate: 10.7% (6,740 total)
--- 1.8% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.5% (2,110 total)
--- 6.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,354,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.78

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Mihai_Andritoiu // Shutterstock

#4. Essex County

- Food insecurity rate: 10.7% (84,900 total)
--- 1.8% lower than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.5% (29,310 total)
--- 6.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $59,012,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.07

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f11 photo // Shutterstock

#3. Hudson County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.1% (74,200 total)
--- 1.8% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 12.0% (16,570 total)
--- 17.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $42,147,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.32

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Jorge Moro // Shutterstock

#2. Cape May County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.3% (10,540 total)
--- 3.7% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 15.2% (2,490 total)
--- 4.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $6,682,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.71

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Cumberland County

- Food insecurity rate: 11.3% (17,230 total)
--- 3.7% higher than national average
- Child food insecurity rate: 16.7% (6,060 total)
--- 14.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $9,292,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.15

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