Counties where the most residents go hungry in each state in the US

Counties where the most residents go hungry in each state in the US


The United States is one of the most affluent nations on earth. Our agricultural resources are substantial, with over 1 billion acres actively-used farmland. And yet an estimated one in eight American households face difficulties obtaining enough food to adequately feed the whole family over the course of the year.

Part of the reason for this lack of resources is the sheer amount of food wasted. American consumers and retailers waste tens of billions of pounds of food annually. . As much as half of all produce produced in the United States is wasted. The vast amount of wasted food in the United States – $162 billion a year – is especially tragic given that there are well over 40 million Americans who lack sufficient access to healthy, quality food or any food at all, as measured by the food insecurity measure. It is one of today’s biggest public health issues.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture measures the share of residents who live on low incomes and also lack access to nearby grocery stores and from that data derives the food insecurity rate. Food insecurity measures the share of households who report inconsistent access to adequate food. This could be caused by the scarcity of nearby stores – low access to food, and it can also be the result of poverty.

In all states in the U.S., there is at least one county where over one in 10 residents do not have consistent access to the food they need on a daily basis. In some counties or county equivalents, more than one in three residents are at risk of going hungry. Across the country, 12.6% of residents receive nutritional assistance in the form of SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps. In the counties going hungry in every state, as many as 18% of residents rely on SNAP.

Food insecurity can be exacerbated by poverty and food deserts – places where there are relatively few if any food options. Many counties on this list are home to or overlap with American Indian reservations, which, due to unique business regulations, poor access to amenities, as well as housing challenges, have historically faced extreme rural poverty.

To determine the county going hungry in every state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the national food bank network Feeding America to determine the U.S. counties and county equivalents where the largest share of residents don’t get enough to eat.

Alabama: Greene County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 29.7% (2,540 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 16.3% (795,760 people)

• County poverty rate: 38.8% (state: 16.9%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 39.8%

• Households in rural areas: 100% 

Alaska: Kusilvak Census Area

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 27.4% (2,230 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 13.6% (100,310 people)

• County poverty rate: 39.1% (state: 11.1%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 58%

• Households in rural areas: N/A

Arizona: Apache County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 24.2% (17,330 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 14% (979,170 people)

• County poverty rate: 35.9% (state: 14.9%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 26.3%

• Households in rural areas: 78.2%

Arkansas: Phillips County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 29.5% (5,750 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 17.3% (518,960 people)

• County poverty rate: 33% (state: 16.4%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 30.8%

• Households in rural areas: 49%

California: Siskiyou County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 16.9% (7,340 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 11 (4,354,400 people)

• County poverty rate: 20.7% (state: 13.3%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 12.1%

• Households in rural areas: 68.4%

Colorado: Montezuma County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 13.2% (3,410 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 10.6% (596,150 people)

• County poverty rate: 16.8% (state: 10.3%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 11

• Households in rural areas: 68.7%

Connecticut: New Haven County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 12.1% (104,190 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 11.3% (406,810 people)

• County poverty rate: 12.1% (state: 9.6%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 15.1%

• Households in rural areas: 3.3%

Delaware: Kent County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 12.9% (22,400 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 12.2% (117,320 people)

• County poverty rate: 13% (state: 13.6%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 11.3%

• Households in rural areas: 27.2%

Florida: Gadsden County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 22.2% (10,260 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 13.4% (2,806,770 people)

• County poverty rate: 24.4% (state: 14%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 25.7%

• Households in rural areas: 68.5%

Georgia: Clay County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 27.4% (830 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 14.4% (1,501,680 people)

• County poverty rate: 41.4% (state: 14.9%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 34.3%

• Households in rural areas: 100%

Hawaii: Kalawao County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 17.8% (20 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 11.3% (161,270 people)

• County poverty rate: 12.7% (state: 9.5%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 5.7%

• Households in rural areas: 100%

Idaho: Madison County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 19 (7,260 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 12.3% (210,420 people)

• County poverty rate: 31.8% (state: 12.8%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 22.9%

• Households in rural areas: 29.1%

Illinois: Alexander County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 22.2% (1,500 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 10.9% (1,395,970 people)

• County poverty rate: 33.4% (state: 12.6%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 28.5%

• Households in rural areas: 56.4%

Indiana: Marion County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 17.4% (163,410 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 13.3% (887,070 people)

• County poverty rate: 19.8% (state: 13.5%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 21.1%

• Households in rural areas: 0.5%

Iowa: Story County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 14.9% (14,280 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 10.9% (341,890 people)

• County poverty rate: 22% (state: 10.7%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 6.8%

• Households in rural areas: 17.1%

Kansas: Riley County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 17.5% (13,240 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 12.7% (370,860 people)

• County poverty rate: 22% (state: 11.9%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 5.5%

• Households in rural areas: 15.8%

Kentucky: Magoffin County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 22.5% (2,880 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 14.9% (662,360 people)

• County poverty rate: 28.6% (state: 17.2%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 35.5%

• Households in rural areas: 100%

Louisiana: East Carroll Parish

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 33.1% (2,420 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 16.5% (773,850 people)

• County poverty rate: 48.2% (state: 19.7%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 31.5%

• Households in rural areas: 37.3%

Maine: Aroostook County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 15.4% (10,620 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 12.9% (172,650 people)

• County poverty rate: 17.5% (state: 11.1%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 22.3%

• Households in rural areas: 82.5%

Maryland: Baltimore city

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 21.3% (131,860 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 10.7% (650,200 people)

• County poverty rate: 22.4% (state: 9.3%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 25.3%

• Households in rural areas: 0%

Massachusetts: Suffolk County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 13.7% (107,030 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 9 (616,090 people)

• County poverty rate: 19.6% (state: 10.5%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 18.7%

• Households in rural areas: 0%

Michigan: Wayne County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 19.5% (344,440 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 13.7% (1,369,250 people)

• County poverty rate: 23.7% (state: 14.2%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 21.8%

• Households in rural areas: 0.6%

Minnesota: Mahnomen County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 13.5% (740 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 9.1% (504,760 people)

• County poverty rate: 22.7% (state: 9.5%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 22.2%

• Households in rural areas: 100%

Mississippi: Jefferson County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 36.3% (2,710 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 19.2% (573,610 people)

• County poverty rate: 47% (state: 19.8%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 33.7%

• Households in rural areas: 100%

Missouri: St. Louis city

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 23.3% (73,300 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 14.2% (865,400 people)

• County poverty rate: 25% (state: 13.4%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 22.3%

• Households in rural areas: 0%

Montana: Big Horn County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 20.2% (2,690 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 11.1% (116,120 people)

• County poverty rate: 26.8% (state: 12.5%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 20.1%

• Households in rural areas: 69.3%

Nebraska: Thurston County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 18.6% (1,310 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 11.6% (223,170 people)

• County poverty rate: 30.5% (state: 10.8%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 21.7%

• Households in rural areas: 100%

Nevada: Mineral County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 15.1% (670 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 12.2% (365,160 people)

• County poverty rate: 20.3% (state: 13%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 19.2%

• Households in rural areas: 34.2%

New Hampshire: Coos County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 11.3% (3,630 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 9.1% (122,860 people)

• County poverty rate: 13.3% (state: 7.7%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 25

• Households in rural areas: 73.9%

New Jersey: Essex County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 16.3% (130,720 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 9.6% (865,900 people)

• County poverty rate: 16.7% (state: 10%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 15.4%

• Households in rural areas: 0%

New Mexico: McKinley County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 26 (18,920 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 15.5% (324,000 people)

• County poverty rate: 37.5% (state: 19.7%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 25.7%

• Households in rural areas: 59.3%

New York: Kings County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 17.1% (451,740 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 11.4% (2,261,250 people)

• County poverty rate: 21.9% (state: 14.1%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 23.5%

• Households in rural areas: 0%

North Carolina: Edgecombe County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 24.1% (13,000 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 14.6% (1,503,050 people)

• County poverty rate: 24.6% (state: 14.7%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 28.3%

• Households in rural areas: 44.2%

North Dakota: Rolette County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 16.8% (2,460 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 7.3% (54,930 people)

• County poverty rate: 32.4% (state: 10.3%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 29.1%

• Households in rural areas: 100%

Ohio: Athens County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 19.3% (12,680 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 14.5% (1,691,910 people)

• County poverty rate: 30.2% (state: 14%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 19.1%

• Households in rural areas: 49.3%

Oklahoma: Choctaw County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 21.7% (3,240 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 15.8% (621,370 people)

• County poverty rate: 31 (state: 15.8%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 27.4%

• Households in rural areas: 67.1%

Oregon: Lake County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 15.8% (1,230 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 12.3% (510,080 people)

• County poverty rate: 20% (state: 13.2%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 38.7%

• Households in rural areas: 65.5%

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 20.1% (314,820 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 12 (1,534,710 people)

• County poverty rate: 25.8% (state: 12.5%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 24.5%

• Households in rural areas: 0%

Rhode Island: Providence County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 12.6% (79,720 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 11.4% (120,590 people)

• County poverty rate: 16.7% (state: 11.6%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 20.5%

• Households in rural areas: 5.1%

South Carolina: Allendale County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 24.1% (2,270 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 13.5% (679,990 people)

• County poverty rate: 30.4% (state: 15.4%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 32.5%

• Households in rural areas: 65.1%

South Dakota: Oglala Lakota County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 27 (3,860 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 11.4% (99,190 people)

• County poverty rate: 51.9% (state: 13%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 54.9%

• Households in rural areas: N/A

Tennessee: Lake County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 20.8% (1,580 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 13.9% (934,310 people)

• County poverty rate: 29.9% (state: 15%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 38.7%

• Households in rural areas: 100%

Texas: San Augustine County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 23.5% (1,970 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 14.9% (4,217,470 people)

• County poverty rate: 24.4% (state: 14.7%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 18.6%

• Households in rural areas: 100%

Utah: San Juan County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 19.4% (2,950 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 12.1% (373,850 people)

• County poverty rate: 28.4% (state: 9.7%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 17.4%

• Households in rural areas: 81.5%

Vermont: Essex County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 13.1% (820 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 11.9% (74,520 people)

• County poverty rate: 15.5% (state: 11.3%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 15.4%

• Households in rural areas: 100%

Virginia: Petersburg city

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 25.9% (8,280 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 10.2% (863,390 people)

• County poverty rate: 27.6% (state: 10.6%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 27

• Households in rural areas: 2%

Washington: Whitman County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 18.3% (8,760 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 11.5% (848,990 people)

• County poverty rate: 27.5% (state: 11%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 10.8%

• Households in rural areas: 31.2%

West Virginia: McDowell County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 19.9% (3,930 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 14.8% (268,070 people)

• County poverty rate: 34.9% (state: 19.1%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 30.5%

• Households in rural areas: 86.1%

Wisconsin: Menominee County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 17.2% (780 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 10 (578,480 people)

• County poverty rate: 35.8% (state: 11.3%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 30.7%

• Households in rural areas: 100%

Wyoming: Albany County

• County population with inconsistent access to food: 16.3% (6,170 people)

• State population with inconsistent access to food: 12.3% (71,060 people)

• County poverty rate: 23% (state: 11.3%)

• Households receiving SNAP benefits: 4.3%

• Households in rural areas: 17.4%

24/7 Wall Street is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news and commentary. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.

Poorest counties in the US: A state-by-state look at where median household income is low



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