(STACKER) – Every county in the United States is home to people experiencing food insecurity, defined by the nonprofit Feeding America as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life.”

The USDA estimates that 89.5% of U.S. households were food secure throughout 2019—that’s 116.0 million people. The COVID-19 pandemic put further strain on households already experiencing food hardship, with Feeding America estimating that 42 million people, or 1 in 8 Americans, may experience food insecurity in 2021. This is a slight improvement from 2020 numbers but still represents an enormous burden for millions of children and adults.

Stacker compiled a list of counties in Kentucky with the highest rate of food insecurity using data from Feeding America. Counties are ranked by highest percent of population with food insecurity as of 2019.

MORE KENTUCKY LISTS & RANKINGS:

JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

1 / 50

#50. Hart County

– Food insecurity rate: 16.6% (3,110 total)
— 52.3% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 19.7% (920 total)
— 34.9% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,453,000
— Cost per meal: $2.73

W.marsh // Wikimedia Commons

2 / 50

#49. Adair County

– Food insecurity rate: 16.7% (3,210 total)
— 53.2% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 21.1% (790 total)
— 44.5% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,527,000
— Cost per meal: $2.78

verygreen // Wikimedia Commons

3 / 50

#48. Rockcastle County

– Food insecurity rate: 16.8% (2,820 total)
— 54.1% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 20.7% (770 total)
— 41.8% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,312,000
— Cost per meal: $2.72

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

4 / 50

#47. Pulaski County

– Food insecurity rate: 16.9% (10,890 total)
— 55.0% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 19.9% (2,850 total)
— 36.3% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $4,996,000
— Cost per meal: $2.68

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

5 / 50

#46. Green County

– Food insecurity rate: 17.0% (1,860 total)
— 56.0% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 20.3% (470 total)
— 39.0% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $892,000
— Cost per meal: $2.80

w:User:Malepheasant // Wikimedia Commons

6 / 50

#45. Boyd County

– Food insecurity rate: 17.0% (8,130 total)
— 56.0% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 22.5% (2,280 total)
— 54.1% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $3,828,000
— Cost per meal: $2.75

FloNight (Sydney Poore) and Russell Poore // Wikimedia Commons

7 / 50

#44. Fleming County

– Food insecurity rate: 17.1% (2,480 total)
— 56.9% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 23.1% (820 total)
— 58.2% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,208,000
— Cost per meal: $2.85

W.marsh // Wikimedia Commons

8 / 50

#43. Laurel County

– Food insecurity rate: 17.2% (10,350 total)
— 57.8% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 21.5% (3,000 total)
— 47.3% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $4,703,000
— Cost per meal: $2.66

Bedford // Wikimedia Commons

9 / 50

#42. Webster County

– Food insecurity rate: 17.4% (2,280 total)
— 59.6% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 22.0% (670 total)
— 50.7% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,066,000
— Cost per meal: $2.74

Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

10 / 50

#41. Monroe County

– Food insecurity rate: 17.5% (1,860 total)
— 60.6% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 22.0% (530 total)
— 50.7% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $866,000
— Cost per meal: $2.72

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

11 / 50

#40. Russell County

– Food insecurity rate: 17.5% (3,110 total)
— 60.6% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 20.7% (830 total)
— 41.8% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,449,000
— Cost per meal: $2.73

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

12 / 50

#39. Metcalfe County

– Food insecurity rate: 17.6% (1,770 total)
— 61.5% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 23.0% (530 total)
— 57.5% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $824,000
— Cost per meal: $2.72

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

13 / 50

#38. Barren County

– Food insecurity rate: 17.6% (7,740 total)
— 61.5% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 23.2% (2,430 total)
— 58.9% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $3,511,000
— Cost per meal: $2.65

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

14 / 50

#37. Casey County

– Food insecurity rate: 17.7% (2,810 total)
— 62.4% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 21.7% (780 total)
— 48.6% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,306,000
— Cost per meal: $2.72

W.marsh // Wikimedia Commons

15 / 50

#36. Robertson County

– Food insecurity rate: 17.8% (380 total)
— 63.3% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 26.7% (140 total)
— 82.9% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $182,000
— Cost per meal: $2.80

Huw Williams (Huwmanbeing) // Wikimedia Commons

16 / 50

#35. Grayson County

– Food insecurity rate: 18.0% (4,710 total)
— 65.1% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 24.0% (1,500 total)
— 64.4% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $2,053,000
— Cost per meal: $2.55

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

17 / 50

#34. Powell County

– Food insecurity rate: 18.1% (2,230 total)
— 66.1% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 21.8% (650 total)
— 49.3% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,114,000
— Cost per meal: $2.92

W.marsh // Wikimedia Commons

18 / 50

#33. Bath County

– Food insecurity rate: 18.1% (2,230 total)
— 66.1% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 22.8% (730 total)
— 56.2% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,105,000
— Cost per meal: $2.90

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

19 / 50

#32. Morgan County

– Food insecurity rate: 18.3% (2,430 total)
— 67.9% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 23.6% (580 total)
— 61.6% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,180,000
— Cost per meal: $2.84

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

20 / 50

#31. Clinton County

– Food insecurity rate: 18.4% (1,880 total)
— 68.8% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 23.2% (540 total)
— 58.9% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $899,000
— Cost per meal: $2.80

JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

21 / 50

#30. Wayne County

– Food insecurity rate: 18.5% (3,790 total)
— 69.7% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 25.2% (1,090 total)
— 72.6% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,757,000
— Cost per meal: $2.71

No machine-readable author provided. Blinutne assumed (based on copyright claims). // Wikimedia Commons

22 / 50

#29. Whitley County

– Food insecurity rate: 18.5% (6,680 total)
— 69.7% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 22.1% (2,000 total)
— 51.4% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $3,195,000
— Cost per meal: $2.80

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

23 / 50

#28. Menifee County

– Food insecurity rate: 18.7% (1,200 total)
— 71.6% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 27.1% (370 total)
— 85.6% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $588,000
— Cost per meal: $2.87

W.marsh // Wikimedia Commons

24 / 50

#27. Rowan County

– Food insecurity rate: 18.8% (4,600 total)
— 72.5% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 23.5% (1,090 total)
— 61.0% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $2,252,000
— Cost per meal: $2.86

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

25 / 50

#26. Martin County

– Food insecurity rate: 19.2% (2,230 total)
— 76.1% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 22.0% (510 total)
— 50.7% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,084,000
— Cost per meal: $2.84

Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

26 / 50

#25. Fulton County

– Food insecurity rate: 19.4% (1,190 total)
— 78.0% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 29.6% (400 total)
— 102.7% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $555,000
— Cost per meal: $2.73

CoryClaxon // Wikimedia Commons

27 / 50

#24. Carter County

– Food insecurity rate: 19.6% (5,310 total)
— 79.8% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 25.5% (1,540 total)
— 74.7% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $2,945,000
— Cost per meal: $3.24

HiB2Bornot2B // Wikimedia Commons

28 / 50

#23. Johnson County

– Food insecurity rate: 19.7% (4,460 total)
— 80.7% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 23.0% (1,170 total)
— 57.5% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $2,159,000
— Cost per meal: $2.83

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

29 / 50

#22. Pike County

– Food insecurity rate: 19.7% (11,740 total)
— 80.7% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 26.2% (3,220 total)
— 79.5% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $5,827,000
— Cost per meal: $2.90

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

30 / 50

#21. Nicholas County

– Food insecurity rate: 19.9% (1,420 total)
— 82.6% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 28.0% (480 total)
— 91.8% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $695,000
— Cost per meal: $2.86

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

31 / 50

#20. Lawrence County

– Food insecurity rate: 20.2% (3,160 total)
— 85.3% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 25.6% (960 total)
— 75.3% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,524,000
— Cost per meal: $2.82

C. Bedford Crenshaw // Wikimedia Commons

32 / 50

#19. Lewis County

– Food insecurity rate: 20.3% (2,720 total)
— 86.2% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 25.8% (770 total)
— 76.7% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,303,000
— Cost per meal: $2.80

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

33 / 50

#18. Perry County

– Food insecurity rate: 20.8% (5,540 total)
— 90.8% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 26.2% (1,560 total)
— 79.5% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $2,778,000
— Cost per meal: $2.93

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

34 / 50

#17. Knox County

– Food insecurity rate: 20.9% (6,540 total)
— 91.7% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 26.0% (1,910 total)
— 78.1% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $3,098,000
— Cost per meal: $2.77

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

35 / 50

#16. Estill County

– Food insecurity rate: 21.5% (3,070 total)
— 97.2% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 27.8% (850 total)
— 90.4% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,503,000
— Cost per meal: $2.86

Kybluegrass // Wikimedia Commons

36 / 50

#15. McCreary County

– Food insecurity rate: 21.8% (3,810 total)
— 100.0% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 27.9% (1,100 total)
— 91.1% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,779,000
— Cost per meal: $2.73

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

37 / 50

#14. Elliott County

– Food insecurity rate: 22.4% (1,680 total)
— 105.5% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 28.9% (400 total)
— 97.9% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $815,000
— Cost per meal: $2.84

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

38 / 50

#13. Floyd County

– Food insecurity rate: 22.4% (8,160 total)
— 105.5% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 29.0% (2,280 total)
— 98.6% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $4,300,000
— Cost per meal: $3.08

W.marsh // Wikimedia Commons

39 / 50

#12. Jackson County

– Food insecurity rate: 22.7% (3,030 total)
— 108.3% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 28.9% (870 total)
— 97.9% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,429,000
— Cost per meal: $2.76

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

40 / 50

#11. Knott County

– Food insecurity rate: 23.1% (3,530 total)
— 111.9% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 31.7% (970 total)
— 117.1% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,756,000
— Cost per meal: $2.91

JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

41 / 50

#10. Owsley County

– Food insecurity rate: 23.4% (1,040 total)
— 114.7% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 28.6% (260 total)
— 95.9% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $515,000
— Cost per meal: $2.89

W.marsh // Wikimedia Commons

42 / 50

#9. Lee County

– Food insecurity rate: 23.8% (1,640 total)
— 118.3% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 30.5% (430 total)
— 108.9% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $811,000
— Cost per meal: $2.89

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

43 / 50

#8. Letcher County

– Food insecurity rate: 24.0% (5,360 total)
— 120.2% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 32.2% (1,550 total)
— 120.5% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $2,624,000
— Cost per meal: $2.8644 / 50Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Clay County

– Food insecurity rate: 24.7% (5,030 total)
— 126.6% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 31.8% (1,380 total)
— 117.8% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $2,248,000
— Cost per meal: $2.61

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

45 / 50

#6. Wolfe County

– Food insecurity rate: 24.8% (1,790 total)
— 127.5% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 29.6% (490 total)
— 102.7% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $887,000
— Cost per meal: $2.90

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

46 / 50

#5. Magoffin County

– Food insecurity rate: 24.8% (3,090 total)
— 127.5% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 32.8% (940 total)
— 124.7% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,529,000
— Cost per meal: $2.89

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

47 / 50

#4. Bell County

– Food insecurity rate: 24.8% (6,650 total)
— 127.5% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 31.7% (1,810 total)
— 117.1% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $3,271,000
— Cost per meal: $2.88

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

48 / 50

#3. Breathitt County

– Food insecurity rate: 25.3% (3,280 total)
— 132.1% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 32.7% (860 total)
— 124.0% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,631,000
— Cost per meal: $2.91

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

49 / 50

#2. Leslie County

– Food insecurity rate: 25.9% (2,660 total)
— 137.6% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 33.2% (730 total)
— 127.4% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $1,293,000
— Cost per meal: $2.84

W.marsh // Wikimedia Commons

50 / 50

#1. Harlan County

– Food insecurity rate: 26.6% (7,100 total)
— 144.0% higher than national average
– Child food insecurity rate: 35.1% (2,150 total)
— 140.4% higher than national average
– Annual food budget shortfall: $3,407,000
— Cost per meal: $2.81