Childhood food insecurity

Change Indicator

(i) Select Table Type:

  • Detailed
  • Sort / Rank

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
Maine saw improvement in this indicator in 2016, with the percent of children experiencing food insecurity dropping to below 20% for the first time since this measured was tracked in 2013.
On a national level, Maine ranked 35th of 50 states in percent of children experiencing food insecurity.
In 2013, 2014 and 2015, Maine's rate was above 21%. In 2016, the counties with the highest rates of child food insecurity were the rural counties of Piscataquis, (25.5%) and Somerset (23.9%).
The counties with the lowest rates were York (17.5%) and Cumberland (17.2%).
show more

Selections

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.

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 Source: Feeding America: Map the Meal Gap
Gundersen, C., A. Dewey, A. Crumbaugh, M. Kato & E. Engelhard. Map the Meal Gap 2018: A Report on County and Congressional District Food Insecurity and County Food Cost in the United States in 2016. Feeding America, 2018.

Map the Meal Gap's child food insecurity rates are determined using data from the 2001-2016 Current Population Survey on children under 18 years old in food insecure households; data from the 2016 American Community Survey on median family incomes for households with children, child poverty rates, home ownership, and race and ethnic demographics among children; and 2016 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on unemployment rates.







Footnotes: Map the Meal Gap's child food insecurity rates are determined using data from the 2001-2016 Current Population Survey on children under 18 years old in food insecure households; data from the 2016 American Community Survey on median family incomes for households with children, child poverty rates, home ownership, and race and ethnic demographics among children; and 2016 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.

Uploaded May 2018.