Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in Virginia

Written by:
September 13, 2022
Sleddog116 // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in Virginia

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 Virginia 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. Virginia has a child food insecurity rate of 9.7%, which ranks #6 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 Virginia.

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Ser Amantio di Nicolao // Wikimedia Commons

#50. King and Queen County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.9% (210 total)
--- 0.2% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 7.5% (530 total)
--- 4.3% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $307,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.60
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Colonial Heights

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.1% (630 total)
--- 0.0% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.3% (1,780 total)
--- 1.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $868,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.03
3 / 50
Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Pulaski County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.3% (990 total)
--- 0.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.4% (4,590 total)
--- 1.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,245,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.04
4 / 50
Greenjettaguy82 // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Westmoreland County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.4% (550 total)
--- 0.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.7% (1,920 total)
--- 1.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,053,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.41
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Calstanhope // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Grayson County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.7% (430 total)
--- 0.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.5% (1,960 total)
--- 0.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $989,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.13
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APK // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Winchester

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.8% (1,070 total)
--- 0.7% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.6% (3,510 total)
--- 0.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,969,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.48
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Nottoway County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.1% (500 total)
--- 1.0% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.5% (1,760 total)
--- 0.3% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $865,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.05
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Mojo Hand // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Charles City County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.3% (180 total)
--- 1.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.1% (640 total)
--- 2.7% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $371,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.60
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Idawriter // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Pittsylvania County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.3% (1,980 total)
--- 1.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.7% (7,100 total)
--- 0.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,822,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.34
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Smash the Iron Cage // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Covington

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.4% (220 total)
--- 1.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.9% (610 total)
--- 0.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $341,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.47
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SKM2000 // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Williamsburg

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.5% (290 total)
--- 1.4% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.0% (1,660 total)
--- 0.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,076,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.03
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Lvklock // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Waynesboro

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.7% (900 total)
--- 1.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.8% (2,860 total)
--- 1.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,465,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.18
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vastateparksstaff // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Halifax County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.1% (1,270 total)
--- 2.0% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.7% (4,000 total)
--- 0.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,938,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.01
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Tazewell County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.3% (1,460 total)
--- 2.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 14.7% (6,050 total)
--- 2.9% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,857,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.93
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JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Smyth County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.8% (1,100 total)
--- 2.7% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 15.7% (4,800 total)
--- 3.9% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,435,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.15
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Rhyssdavies // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Lunenburg County

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.0% (460 total)
--- 2.9% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.1% (1,360 total)
--- 0.7% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $673,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.07
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Ser_Amantio_di_Nicolao // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Northumberland County

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.2% (340 total)
--- 3.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.0% (1,090 total)
--- 2.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $634,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.61
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Cyoung9 // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Galax

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.2% (320 total)
--- 3.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 16.4% (1,050 total)
--- 4.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $564,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.34
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Taber Andrew Bain from Richmond, VA, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Buckingham County

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.9% (630 total)
--- 3.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.7% (2,000 total)
--- 0.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $983,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.05
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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Lynchburg

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.9% (3,060 total)
--- 3.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.3% (9,970 total)
--- 0.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $5,123,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.19
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Puritan Nerd // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Prince Edward County

- Child food insecurity rate: 20.5% (720 total)
--- 4.4% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.4% (3,060 total)
--- 1.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,504,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.05
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Henry County

- Child food insecurity rate: 20.8% (2,070 total)
--- 4.7% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.9% (6,610 total)
--- 1.1% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,153,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.96
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Wise County

- Child food insecurity rate: 20.8% (1,510 total)
--- 4.7% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 17.3% (6,570 total)
--- 5.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,349,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.17
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Nolanwebb // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Roanoke

- Child food insecurity rate: 21.7% (4,770 total)
--- 5.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.2% (13,120 total)
--- 1.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $6,320,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.99
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Mojo Hand // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Essex County

- Child food insecurity rate: 21.8% (440 total)
--- 5.7% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.0% (1,210 total)
--- 0.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $682,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.50
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Ser Amantio di Nicolao // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Surry County

- Child food insecurity rate: 21.8% (250 total)
--- 5.7% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.5% (680 total)
--- 1.3% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $441,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.03
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Nathan Yates // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Dickenson County

- Child food insecurity rate: 22.0% (620 total)
--- 5.9% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 19.0% (2,770 total)
--- 7.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,412,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.17
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Puddin Tain // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Sussex County

- Child food insecurity rate: 22.2% (380 total)
--- 6.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.6% (1,070 total)
--- 2.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $592,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.44
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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Accomack County

- Child food insecurity rate: 22.5% (1,520 total)
--- 6.4% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.8% (3,840 total)
--- 0.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,919,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.10
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Cnjnva // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Mecklenburg County

- Child food insecurity rate: 22.5% (1,290 total)
--- 6.4% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.1% (3,710 total)
--- 0.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,835,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.07
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Alexiskferia // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Northampton County

- Child food insecurity rate: 22.9% (530 total)
--- 6.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.6% (1,490 total)
--- 0.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $744,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.10
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Petra holden // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Newport News

- Child food insecurity rate: 23.3% (9,690 total)
--- 7.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.4% (22,210 total)
--- 0.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $11,600,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.24
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David Broad // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Lancaster County

- Child food insecurity rate: 23.4% (390 total)
--- 7.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.1% (1,180 total)
--- 0.7% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $599,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.15
34 / 50
Taber Andrew Bain // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Greensville County

- Child food insecurity rate: 23.5% (410 total)
--- 7.4% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.3% (1,060 total)
--- 2.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $515,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.02
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pfly // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Lee County

- Child food insecurity rate: 23.7% (1,030 total)
--- 7.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 19.1% (4,530 total)
--- 7.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,133,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.93
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Ser Amantio di Nicolao // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Charlotte County

- Child food insecurity rate: 23.8% (630 total)
--- 7.7% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 15.1% (1,800 total)
--- 3.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $884,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.05
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Aplomado~commonswiki // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Bristol

- Child food insecurity rate: 24.1% (860 total)
--- 8.0% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 17.5% (2,980 total)
--- 5.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,595,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.32
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JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Hampton

- Child food insecurity rate: 24.1% (6,890 total)
--- 8.0% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.3% (15,320 total)
--- 0.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $8,096,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.28
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Ewelch1 // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Norfolk

- Child food insecurity rate: 24.6% (11,790 total)
--- 8.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.2% (32,260 total)
--- 1.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $17,563,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.38
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Betcantrell // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Norton

- Child food insecurity rate: 25.2% (160 total)
--- 9.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 21.0% (840 total)
--- 9.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $428,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.17
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Tburgess68 // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Buchanan County

- Child food insecurity rate: 26.2% (950 total)
--- 10.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 19.6% (4,180 total)
--- 7.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,990,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.96
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U.S. Navy photo // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Portsmouth

- Child food insecurity rate: 26.4% (5,850 total)
--- 10.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.3% (11,690 total)
--- 0.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $6,157,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.27
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Will Weaver // Wikicommons

#8. Richmond

- Child food insecurity rate: 27.3% (10,890 total)
--- 11.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 14.0% (32,000 total)
--- 2.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $19,697,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.82
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Jerrye & Roy Klotz, MD // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Brunswick County

- Child food insecurity rate: 27.7% (720 total)
--- 11.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.1% (1,980 total)
--- 0.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $980,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.07
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Franklin

- Child food insecurity rate: 28.9% (580 total)
--- 12.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.8% (1,030 total)
--- 1.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $555,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.35
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DanTD // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Emporia

- Child food insecurity rate: 30.2% (500 total)
--- 14.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 15.6% (840 total)
--- 3.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $408,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.02
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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Danville

- Child food insecurity rate: 32.0% (2,850 total)
--- 15.9% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 16.3% (6,630 total)
--- 4.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,101,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.90
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Hopewell

- Child food insecurity rate: 33.8% (1,950 total)
--- 17.7% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 17.1% (3,840 total)
--- 5.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,151,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.48
49 / 50
Sleddog116 // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Martinsville

- Child food insecurity rate: 34.3% (1,050 total)
--- 18.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 18.4% (2,330 total)
--- 6.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,111,000
--- Cost per meal: $2.96
50 / 50
Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Petersburg

- Child food insecurity rate: 38.6% (2,490 total)
--- 22.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 18.3% (5,640 total)
--- 6.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,752,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.03

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