Counties with the highest rate of food insecure children in Alabama

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Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:28 AM CDT
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(STACKER) - 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 Alabama 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.

Alabama has a child food insecurity rate of 19.8%, which ranks #4 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%

Where food insecurity is most prevalent in Alabama

#11. Pickens County

  • Child food insecurity rate: 30.8% (1,220 total)
  • 14.7% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 18.5% (3,720 total)
  • 6.7% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $2,074,000
  • Cost per meal: $3.46

#10. Bullock County

  • Child food insecurity rate: 31.1% (710 total)
  • 15.0% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.0% (1,620 total)
  • 4.2% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $926,000
  • Cost per meal: $3.55

#9. Hale County

  • Child food insecurity rate: 33.1% (1,130 total)
  • 17.0% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 19.2% (2,840 total)
  • 7.4% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,617,000
  • Cost per meal: $3.54

#8. Barbour County

  • Child food insecurity rate: 33.4% (1,740 total)
  • 17.3% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 19.5% (4,870 total)
  • 7.7% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $2,505,000
  • Cost per meal: $3.19

#7. Macon County

  • Child food insecurity rate: 36.2% (1,150 total)
  • 20.1% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.4% (3,030 total)
  • 4.6% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,765,000
  • Cost per meal: $3.62

#6. Sumter County

  • Child food insecurity rate: 36.7% (890 total)
  • 20.6% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 18.7% (2,360 total)
  • 6.9% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,193,000
  • Cost per meal: $3.14

#5. Dallas County

  • Child food insecurity rate: 39.5% (3,640 total)
  • 23.4% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 20.3% (7,760 total)
  • 8.5% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $4,043,000
  • Cost per meal: $3.24

#4. Lowndes County

  • Child food insecurity rate: 40.4% (900 total)
  • 24.3% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 20.1% (2,000 total)
  • 8.3% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,110,000
  • Cost per meal: $3.45

#3. Greene County

  • Child food insecurity rate: 42.3% (750 total)
  • 26.2% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 22.3% (1,840 total)
  • 10.5% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,016,000
  • Cost per meal: $3.43

#2. Wilcox County

  • Child food insecurity rate: 42.3% (1,060 total)
  • 26.2% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 21.5% (2,270 total)
  • 9.7% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,140,000
  • Cost per meal: $3.12

#1. Perry County

  • Child food insecurity rate: 44.9% (870 total)
  • 28.8% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 22.9% (2,090 total)
  • 11.1% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,104,000
  • Cost per meal: $3.28