CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Food insecurity is a widespread problem in the United States, with people experiencing food insecurity in every single county in the nation. The nonprofit Feeding America describes food insecurity as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life.”

But West Virginia particularly struggles with poverty and hunger. According to America Health Rankings, the Mountain State ranks second in the nation for high rates of food insecurity and first in childhood obesity despite having high levels of physical activity in children (ranked 10th in the nation). America Health Rankings found that less than two-thirds (62.3%) of children lived in a household that could always afford to eat good, nutritious meals in 2019-2020, compared to the national average of 70%.

Food insecurity hits children particularly hard. The COVID-19 pandemic put further strain on households already experiencing food hardship, with Feeding America estimating that 13 million children may experience food insecurity in 2021—that’s one in six children. And the estimate for West Virginia’s children is one in five. Not having consistent access to enough food can affect cognitive abilities, overall health, moods, and attention spans—not to mention the psychological effects of living with scarcity.

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

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#50. Grant County

– Child food insecurity rate: 14.2%
— Number of food insecure children: 310
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 97.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 3.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 10.8%

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#49. Berkeley County

– Child food insecurity rate: 14.3%
— Number of food insecure children: 3,870
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 61.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 39.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 9.2%

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#48. Harrison County

– Child food insecurity rate: 16.0%
— Number of food insecure children: 2,320
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 64.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 36.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 12.1%

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#47. Doddridge County

– Child food insecurity rate: 16.1%
— Number of food insecure children: 220
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 70.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 31.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 11.8%

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#46. Gilmer County

– Child food insecurity rate: 16.2%
— Number of food insecure children: 200
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 65.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 35.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 11.7%

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#45. Pleasants County

– Child food insecurity rate: 16.2%
— Number of food insecure children: 240
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 76.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 24.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 11.7%

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#44. Brooke County

– Child food insecurity rate: 16.6%
— Number of food insecure children: 650
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 65.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 35.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 11.5%

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#43. Preston County

– Child food insecurity rate: 17.0%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,110
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 66.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 34.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 11.0%

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#42. Pendleton County

– Child food insecurity rate: 17.8%
— Number of food insecure children: 230
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 80.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 20.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 11.5%

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#41. Hancock County

– Child food insecurity rate: 17.9%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,010
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 79.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 21.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 11.8%

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#40. Tucker County

– Child food insecurity rate: 18.2%
— Number of food insecure children: 200
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 57.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 43.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 12.2%

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#39. Mineral County

– Child food insecurity rate: 18.3%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,000
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 65.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 35.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 12.6%

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#38. Jackson County

– Child food insecurity rate: 18.4%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,150
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 62.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 38.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 13.3%

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#37. Greenbrier County

– Child food insecurity rate: 18.4%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,270
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 81.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 19.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 12.9%

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#36. Marion County

– Child food insecurity rate: 18.5%
— Number of food insecure children: 2,080
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 72.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 29.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 12.2%

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#35. Cabell County

– Child food insecurity rate: 18.5%
— Number of food insecure children: 3,460
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 62.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 38.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 14.7%

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#34. Kanawha County

– Child food insecurity rate: 18.5%
— Number of food insecure children: 6,820
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 65.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 35.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 12.6%

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#33. Marshall County

– Child food insecurity rate: 18.6%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,140
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 72.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 28.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 12.3%

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#32. Wood County

– Child food insecurity rate: 19.3%
— Number of food insecure children: 3,460
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 75.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 25.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 13.4%

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#31. Monroe County

– Child food insecurity rate: 19.5%
— Number of food insecure children: 510
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 78.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 22.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 13.4%

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#30. Mason County

– Child food insecurity rate: 19.5%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,120
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 70.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 30.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 12.8%

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#29. Randolph County

– Child food insecurity rate: 19.6%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,090
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 78.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 22.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 13.9%

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#28. Hardy County

– Child food insecurity rate: 19.7%
— Number of food insecure children: 560
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 81.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 19.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 10.9%

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#27. Tyler County

– Child food insecurity rate: 19.9%
— Number of food insecure children: 350
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 67.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 33.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 13.7%

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#26. Taylor County

– Child food insecurity rate: 20.2%
— Number of food insecure children: 690
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 78.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 22.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 12.9%

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#25. Upshur County

– Child food insecurity rate: 20.2%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,020
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 77.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 23.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 13.8%

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#24. Hampshire County

– Child food insecurity rate: 20.9%
— Number of food insecure children: 940
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 64.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 37.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 13.9%

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#23. Raleigh County

– Child food insecurity rate: 21.4%
— Number of food insecure children: 3,350
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 69.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 31.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 13.8%

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#22. Barbour County

– Child food insecurity rate: 21.5%
— Number of food insecure children: 720
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 69.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 31.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 14.7%

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#21. Nicholas County

– Child food insecurity rate: 22.5%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,150
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 80.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 20.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 14.1%

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#20. Wirt County

– Child food insecurity rate: 23.0%
— Number of food insecure children: 280
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 96.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 4.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 15.0%

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#19. Pocahontas County

– Child food insecurity rate: 23.1%
— Number of food insecure children: 340
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 69.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 31.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 14.3%

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#18. Wayne County

– Child food insecurity rate: 23.4%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,970
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 69.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 31.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 16.9%

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#17. Ritchie County

– Child food insecurity rate: 23.5%
— Number of food insecure children: 460
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 69.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 31.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 14.4%

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#16. Lewis County

– Child food insecurity rate: 23.6%
— Number of food insecure children: 810
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 75.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 26.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 15.3%

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#15. Mercer County

– Child food insecurity rate: 23.6%
— Number of food insecure children: 2,900
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 76.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 24.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 16.0%

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#14. Fayette County

– Child food insecurity rate: 23.9%
— Number of food insecure children: 2,150
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 72.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 29.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 15.8%

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#13. Boone County

– Child food insecurity rate: 24.2%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,170
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 69.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 31.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 16.8%

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#12. Roane County

– Child food insecurity rate: 24.3%
— Number of food insecure children: 730
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 74.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 26.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 17.0%

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#11. Wetzel County

– Child food insecurity rate: 24.5%
— Number of food insecure children: 780
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 73.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 27.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 15.7%

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#10. Webster County

– Child food insecurity rate: 25.0%
— Number of food insecure children: 420
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 96.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 4.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 17.0%

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#9. Lincoln County

– Child food insecurity rate: 25.3%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,190
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 70.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 30.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 16.8%

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#8. Summers County

– Child food insecurity rate: 25.7%
— Number of food insecure children: 550
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 70.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 30.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 16.5%

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#7. Braxton County

– Child food insecurity rate: 25.7%
— Number of food insecure children: 720
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 78.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 22.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 16.1%

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#6. Logan County

– Child food insecurity rate: 25.8%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,750
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 76.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 24.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 18.6%

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#5. Wyoming County

– Child food insecurity rate: 26.5%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,180
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 76.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 24.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 18.1%

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#4. Clay County

– Child food insecurity rate: 28.9%
— Number of food insecure children: 570
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 66.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 34.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 20.3%

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#3. Calhoun County

– Child food insecurity rate: 29.3%
— Number of food insecure children: 420
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 66.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 34.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 19.9%

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#2. Mingo County

– Child food insecurity rate: 29.6%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,600
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 81.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 20.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 20.5%

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#1. McDowell County

– Child food insecurity rate: 34.7%
— Number of food insecure children: 1,330
– Percentage of children in households with income below 185% FPL: 77.0%
– Percentage of children in households with income above 185% FPL: 23.0%
– Overall food insecurity rate: 22.5%