Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in New Mexico

Written by:
September 13, 2022
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Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in New Mexico

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 New Mexico 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. New Mexico has a child food insecurity rate of 20.5%, which ranks #2 highest 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 New Mexico.

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#33. Los Alamos County

- Child food insecurity rate: 5.5% (240 total)
--- 10.6% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 6.0% (1,130 total)
--- 5.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $663,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.64
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#32. De Baca County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.2% (130 total)
--- 0.9% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.4% (210 total)
--- 1.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $111,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.29
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#31. Sandoval County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.6% (5,920 total)
--- 1.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.0% (15,950 total)
--- 0.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $8,530,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.32
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Vacaypicts // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Harding County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.9% (10 total)
--- 2.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.4% (50 total)
--- 0.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $25,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.16
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#29. Eddy County

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.0% (2,900 total)
--- 2.9% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.0% (6,940 total)
--- 0.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,617,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.24
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Asaavedra32 // Wikimedia

#28. Santa Fe County

- Child food insecurity rate: 20.1% (5,430 total)
--- 4.0% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.3% (16,940 total)
--- 0.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $9,939,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.64
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M.Bucka // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Bernalillo County

- Child food insecurity rate: 20.3% (29,960 total)
--- 4.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.7% (86,030 total)
--- 0.9% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $45,426,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.28
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Billy Hathorn // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Curry County

- Child food insecurity rate: 21.2% (2,770 total)
--- 5.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.6% (6,730 total)
--- 1.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,567,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.29
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AllenS // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Lea County

- Child food insecurity rate: 21.4% (4,530 total)
--- 5.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.8% (9,020 total)
--- 1.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,682,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.22
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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Guadalupe County

- Child food insecurity rate: 21.8% (170 total)
--- 5.7% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.0% (520 total)
--- 0.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $265,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.16
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Carptrash // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Rio Arriba County

- Child food insecurity rate: 21.9% (1,970 total)
--- 5.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.7% (5,320 total)
--- 1.9% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,659,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.10
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Drmccreedy // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Valencia County

- Child food insecurity rate: 21.9% (3,920 total)
--- 5.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.6% (9,660 total)
--- 0.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,788,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.08
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Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Hidalgo County

- Child food insecurity rate: 22.3% (210 total)
--- 6.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.9% (590 total)
--- 2.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $318,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.35
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#20. Chaves County

- Child food insecurity rate: 22.5% (3,850 total)
--- 6.4% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.7% (8,890 total)
--- 1.9% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,325,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.02
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#19. Lincoln County

- Child food insecurity rate: 22.7% (790 total)
--- 6.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.6% (2,660 total)
--- 1.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,410,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.29
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#18. Otero County

- Child food insecurity rate: 23.6% (3,640 total)
--- 7.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 15.5% (10,340 total)
--- 3.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $5,479,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.29
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#17. San Juan County

- Child food insecurity rate: 24.2% (8,050 total)
--- 8.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 17.0% (21,410 total)
--- 5.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $10,379,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.01
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AllenS // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Torrance County

- Child food insecurity rate: 24.4% (810 total)
--- 8.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 16.3% (2,530 total)
--- 4.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,336,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.28
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#15. Union County

- Child food insecurity rate: 24.5% (200 total)
--- 8.4% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 15.3% (630 total)
--- 3.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $288,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.84
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#14. Doña Ana County

- Child food insecurity rate: 24.6% (13,150 total)
--- 8.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 14.7% (31,960 total)
--- 2.9% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $16,035,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.12
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#13. Roosevelt County

- Child food insecurity rate: 24.6% (1,110 total)
--- 8.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 15.8% (2,950 total)
--- 4.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,564,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.29
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#12. Taos County

- Child food insecurity rate: 24.6% (1,420 total)
--- 8.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 14.8% (4,850 total)
--- 3.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,096,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.97
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AllenS // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Mora County

- Child food insecurity rate: 24.7% (150 total)
--- 8.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 15.7% (710 total)
--- 3.9% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $362,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.16
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#10. Cibola County

- Child food insecurity rate: 26.6% (1,670 total)
--- 10.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 18.2% (4,870 total)
--- 6.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,314,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.95
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Billy Hathorn // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Colfax County

- Child food insecurity rate: 27.1% (590 total)
--- 11.0% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 16.0% (1,940 total)
--- 4.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,239,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.97
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#8. San Miguel County

- Child food insecurity rate: 27.5% (1,400 total)
--- 11.4% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 16.5% (4,550 total)
--- 4.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,318,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.16
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#7. Socorro County

- Child food insecurity rate: 27.7% (1,050 total)
--- 11.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 18.7% (3,130 total)
--- 6.9% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,552,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.08
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#6. Grant County

- Child food insecurity rate: 28.9% (1,560 total)
--- 12.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 17.5% (4,780 total)
--- 5.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,577,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.35
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Tony Hisgett // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Quay County

- Child food insecurity rate: 28.9% (540 total)
--- 12.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 15.4% (1,270 total)
--- 3.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $673,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.29
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psyberartist // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Sierra County

- Child food insecurity rate: 28.9% (500 total)
--- 12.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 18.8% (2,060 total)
--- 7.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,110,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.35
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Peter Potrowl // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Catron County

- Child food insecurity rate: 29.2% (150 total)
--- 13.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 19.2% (680 total)
--- 7.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $367,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.35
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#2. McKinley County

- Child food insecurity rate: 29.9% (6,180 total)
--- 13.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 22.6% (16,240 total)
--- 10.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $7,867,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.01
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AllenS // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Luna County

- Child food insecurity rate: 32.7% (2,070 total)
--- 16.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 20.2% (4,860 total)
--- 8.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,361,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.02

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