Statistics on children, youth and families in Maine from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Maine Children's Alliance
Childhood food insecurity by county, 2018 —2019
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Childhood food insecurity by county, 2018 —2019
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Why This Indicator Matters
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.
Definition and Source
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 previous years due to methodological changes made for data 2018 and forward. These changes increased the rates and numbers for most counties as compared to the previous methodlogy.
Due to methodological changes, data for 2018 and 2019 are NOT directly comparable to data from previous years but 2018 and 2019 can be compared.
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
Maine Children's Alliance
The Maine Children's Alliance advocates for sound public policies and promotes best practices to improve the lives of all Maine's children, youth and families.Learn More