Childhood Food Insecurity 2018-2019 in Maine

Change Indicator

Why This Indicator Matters

Children who are food insecure have trouble doing their best in school. Food insecurity can have lifelong impacts on children's physical health, mental health and earning potential.
Chronic food insecurity causes stress among children that alters their normal brain development.

For more information see,
Food insecurity affects well-being

What the data shows
In 2019, the Maine state rate of child food insecurity was 18.1% compared to 19.1% in 2018. Maine ranked last in New England and also had a higher rate than the other Northeast states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland.

 In 2019, the counties with the highest rates of child food insecurity were the rural counties of Piscataquis, (25.4%) , Somerset (26.5%) and Washington (25.7%) Cumberland and York Counties had the lowest rates, at 13.6% and 14.8% respectively.
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Data Provided By

Definitions: Children under age 18 living in households, where in the previous 12 months, there was an uncertainty of having, or an inability to acquire, enough food for all household members because of insufficient money or other resources.
Children under age 18 living in households, where in the previous 12 months, there was an uncertainty of having, or an inability to acquire, enough food for all household members because of insufficient money or other resources. 

Food insecurity refers to USDA’s measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods. Food insecure households are not necessarily food insecure all the time. Food insecurity may reflect a household’s need to make trade-offs between important basic needs, such as housing or medical bills, and purchasing nutritionally adequate foods.

Data for 2018-2019 are NOT directly comparable to data from any data due to methodological changes made for data 2018 and forward..

Data Source: Feeding America: Map the Meal Gap     produced by Feeding America. 2019 data was released in March 2021.

Due to methodological changes, data for 2018 are NOT directly comparable to data from any data due to methodological changes made in 2020.

Footnotes: Map the Meal Gap's child food insecurity rates are determined using data from the Current Population Survey on children under 18 years old in food insecure households; data from the  American Community Survey on median family incomes for households with children, child poverty rates, home ownership, and race and ethnic demographics among children; and  data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on unemployment rates.

Data in the state totals row do not reflect the sum of all counties in that state. The state totals are aggregated from the congressional districts data in that state.

Due to methodological changes, data for 2018 and 2019 are NOT directly comparable to data from any data due to methodological changes made in 2020. According to Feeding America, "Beginning in 2020, we enhanced our food insecurity model through the inclusion of a disability rate variable and refining our poverty measure to reflect non-undergraduate student poverty. ...The estimates from Map the Meal Gap 2020 are not directly comparable to estimates from previous year…..  In most areas, our estimates would have been lower absent any changes to the underlying methodology

Uploaded: June 2021