Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in Washington

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

Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in Washington

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 Washington 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. Washington has a child food insecurity rate of 12.3%, which ranks #39 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 Washington.

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kan_khampanya // Shutterstock

#39. King County

- Child food insecurity rate: 11.7% (52,450 total)
--- 4.4% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.9% (197,210 total)
--- 2.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $133,678,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.21
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SounderBruce // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Snohomish County

- Child food insecurity rate: 13.3% (24,440 total)
--- 2.8% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 8.9% (72,540 total)
--- 2.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $44,425,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.80
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Ilyaunfois // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Whitman County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.1% (1,050 total)
--- 2.0% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.3% (6,080 total)
--- 0.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,409,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.48
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Jelson25 // Wikimedia Commons

#36. San Juan County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.5% (320 total)
--- 1.6% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.8% (1,670 total)
--- 2.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,091,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.06
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Steve Morgan // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Clark County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.7% (17,000 total)
--- 1.4% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.9% (47,630 total)
--- 1.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $27,681,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.61
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Dcoetzee // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Kitsap County

- Child food insecurity rate: 14.7% (8,050 total)
--- 1.4% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.7% (26,220 total)
--- 2.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $15,558,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.69
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Squarestate7 // Wikicommons

#33. Walla Walla County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.0% (1,920 total)
--- 1.1% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.0% (6,070 total)
--- 1.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,237,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.31
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John Stanton // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Columbia County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.1% (100 total)
--- 1.0% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.1% (410 total)
--- 1.7% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $219,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.31
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Bluedisk // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Thurston County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.3% (9,330 total)
--- 0.8% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.3% (29,310 total)
--- 1.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $17,152,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.63
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Williamborg // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Asotin County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.5% (710 total)
--- 0.6% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.3% (2,550 total)
--- 0.5% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,271,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.09
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MrX // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Kittitas County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.8% (1,260 total)
--- 0.3% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.7% (5,520 total)
--- 0.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,670,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.13
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Nick Kelly / Faithlife Corporation

#28. Whatcom County

- Child food insecurity rate: 15.9% (6,920 total)
--- 0.2% lower than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.8% (26,450 total)
--- 0.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $17,274,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.06
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formulanone // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Benton County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.2% (8,660 total)
--- 0.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.8% (19,680 total)
--- 2.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $10,905,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.44
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Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Island County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.2% (2,470 total)
--- 0.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.8% (8,290 total)
--- 2.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $5,425,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.06
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Walter Siegmund // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Wahkiakum County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.4% (120 total)
--- 0.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.4% (490 total)
--- 0.4% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $263,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.33
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U.S. Geological Survey // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Skamania County

- Child food insecurity rate: 16.7% (370 total)
--- 0.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.8% (1,280 total)
--- 1.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $742,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.60
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SounderBruce // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Pierce County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.0% (35,470 total)
--- 0.9% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.6% (94,860 total)
--- 1.2% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $56,395,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.69
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Ron Reiring // Wikicommons

#22. Spokane County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.2% (19,480 total)
--- 1.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.1% (62,080 total)
--- 0.3% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $34,839,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.49
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Ruthven78 // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Pend Oreille County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.5% (450 total)
--- 1.4% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.4% (1,680 total)
--- 0.6% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $873,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.23
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MagicalT // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Klickitat County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.6% (750 total)
--- 1.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.3% (2,720 total)
--- 0.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,569,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.58
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Publichall // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Lincoln County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.7% (400 total)
--- 1.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.2% (1,200 total)
--- 0.6% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $673,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.49
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Joe Mabel // Wikicommons

#18. Skagit County

- Child food insecurity rate: 17.7% (4,900 total)
--- 1.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.0% (14,020 total)
--- 0.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $8,016,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.55
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Jennifer Gottwald // Wikicommons

#17. Chelan County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.2% (3,280 total)
--- 2.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.0% (8,410 total)
--- 0.8% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,872,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.60
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Williamborg // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Franklin County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.3% (5,570 total)
--- 2.2% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 9.7% (9,120 total)
--- 2.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,531,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.09
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Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Garfield County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.7% (80 total)
--- 2.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.7% (260 total)
--- 0.1% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $130,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.09
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Richard Bauer // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Stevens County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.7% (1,810 total)
--- 2.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.0% (5,870 total)
--- 1.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,005,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.18
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Thayne Tuason // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Douglas County

- Child food insecurity rate: 18.9% (2,070 total)
--- 2.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.9% (4,640 total)
--- 0.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $2,550,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.41
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Irra // Shutterstock

#12. Grant County

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.5% (5,570 total)
--- 3.4% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 10.9% (10,530 total)
--- 0.9% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $5,393,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.18
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Sam Beebe // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Cowlitz County

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.7% (4,870 total)
--- 3.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.5% (14,600 total)
--- 1.7% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $7,832,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.33
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Steven Pavlov // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Lewis County

- Child food insecurity rate: 19.9% (3,420 total)
--- 3.8% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.0% (10,330 total)
--- 1.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $5,421,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.26
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Ian Poellet // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Mason County

- Child food insecurity rate: 20.7% (2,610 total)
--- 4.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.6% (8,250 total)
--- 0.8% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $4,582,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.45
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Michael S. Shannon // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Yakima County

- Child food insecurity rate: 21.2% (15,780 total)
--- 5.1% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 11.8% (29,510 total)
--- 0.0% lower than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $15,384,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.24
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Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Adams County

- Child food insecurity rate: 21.7% (1,510 total)
--- 5.6% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 12.2% (2,390 total)
--- 0.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $1,224,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.18
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Adbar // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Jefferson County

- Child food insecurity rate: 22.5% (860 total)
--- 6.4% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.0% (4,130 total)
--- 1.2% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,007,000
--- Cost per meal: $4.52
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Sam Beebe // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Pacific County

- Child food insecurity rate: 22.5% (790 total)
--- 6.4% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 14.2% (3,140 total)
--- 2.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $5,363,000
--- Cost per meal: $10.61
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Neonstar // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Clallam County

- Child food insecurity rate: 23.0% (2,980 total)
--- 6.9% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 13.8% (10,580 total)
--- 2.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $5,917,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.47
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Joe Mabel // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Grays Harbor County

- Child food insecurity rate: 23.6% (3,530 total)
--- 7.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 14.8% (10,950 total)
--- 3.0% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $5,789,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.28
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Bouldernavigator // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Okanogan County

- Child food insecurity rate: 24.6% (2,380 total)
--- 8.5% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 15.2% (6,390 total)
--- 3.4% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $3,096,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.01
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Kevmi // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Ferry County

- Child food insecurity rate: 25.4% (310 total)
--- 9.3% higher than national average
- Food insecurity rate: 17.3% (1,320 total)
--- 5.5% higher than national average
- Annual food budget shortfall: $676,000
--- Cost per meal: $3.18

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