(Stacker) — 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.”

Food insecurity hits children particularly hard. The USDA estimates that more than 5.5 million children lived in food-insecure households in 2021. 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 parishes in Louisiana with the highest rate of food insecure children using data from Feeding America. Parishes are ranked by highest percentage of children with food insecurity as of 2020. Louisiana has a child food insecurity rate of 21.5%, which ranks #1 highest among all states.

States with the highest rate of food insecure children

  1. Louisiana: 21.5%
  2. New Mexico: 20.5%
  3. Mississippi: 20.4%
  4. Alabama: 19.8%
  5. Arkansas: 19.7%

States with the lowest rate of food insecure children

  1. North Dakota: 8.1%
  2. Massachusetts: 8.8%
  3. New Jersey: 9.0%
  4. Minnesota: 9.3%
  5. New Hampshire: 9.5%

The following locations are where food insecurity for children is most prevalent in Louisiana:

50. West Feliciana Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 18.8% (480 total)
    — 2.7% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 9.3% (1,440 total)
    — 2.5% lower than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $745,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.21

49. Bossier Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 18.9% (5,950 total)
    — 2.8% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 13.1% (16,680 total)
    — 1.3% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $8,710,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.24

48. East Feliciana Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 19.3% (660 total)
    — 3.2% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 11.4% (2,190 total)
    — 0.4% lower than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,262,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.58

47. Allen Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 20.4% (1,160 total)
    — 4.3% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 14.7% (3,760 total)
    — 2.9% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,867,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.08

46. West Baton Rouge Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 20.4% (1,290 total)
    — 4.3% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 11.7% (3,090 total)
    — 0.1% lower than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,669,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.36

45. Caldwell Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 20.5% (470 total)
    — 4.4% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.1% (1,600 total)
    — 4.3% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $741,000
    — Cost per meal: $2.88

44. Vernon Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 20.7% (2,540 total)
    — 4.6% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 15.6% (7,710 total)
    — 3.8% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $4,016,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.23

43. Terrebonne Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 20.9% (5,890 total)
    — 4.8% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 15.0% (16,690 total)
    — 3.2% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $8,516,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.17

42. Winn Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 21.1% (620 total)
    — 5.0% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 14.9% (2,120 total)
    — 3.1% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,033,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.03

41. Calcasieu Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 21.3% (10,810 total)
    — 5.2% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 14.2% (28,770 total)
    — 2.4% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $14,353,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.10

40. St. Martin Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 21.6% (2,790 total)
    — 5.5% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 13.5% (7,220 total)
    — 1.7% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $3,599,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.10

39. West Carroll Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 21.6% (530 total)
    — 5.5% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.0% (1,750 total)
    — 4.2% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $840,000
    — Cost per meal: $2.98

38. Rapides Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 22.0% (7,120 total)
    — 5.9% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 14.4% (18,720 total)
    — 2.6% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $8,660,000
    — Cost per meal: $2.87

37. Acadia Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 23.4% (3,770 total)
    — 7.3% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 17.3% (10,790 total)
    — 5.5% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $5,426,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.12

36. Jefferson Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 23.5% (22,610 total)
    — 7.4% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 13.9% (60,310 total)
    — 2.1% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $32,693,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.37

35. St. James Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 23.5% (1,120 total)
    — 7.4% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 11.9% (2,530 total)
    — 0.1% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,539,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.78

34. East Baton Rouge Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 24.2% (24,380 total)
    — 8.1% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 12.9% (57,100 total)
    — 1.1% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $33,062,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.60

33. Jackson Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 24.4% (810 total)
    — 8.3% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.0% (2,530 total)
    — 4.2% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,338,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.28

32. Assumption Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 24.8% (1,190 total)
    — 8.7% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.4% (3,640 total)
    — 4.6% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,939,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.31

31. De Soto Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 24.8% (1,630 total)
    — 8.7% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 15.5% (4,260 total)
    — 3.7% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $2,066,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.01

30. Catahoula Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 24.9% (520 total)
    — 8.8% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.2% (1,550 total)
    — 4.4% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $746,000
    — Cost per meal: $2.99

29. St. Mary Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 24.9% (2,990 total)
    — 8.8% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.6% (8,310 total)
    — 4.8% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $3,925,000
    — Cost per meal: $2.93

28. St. Bernard Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 25.1% (3,110 total)
    — 9.0% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 17.4% (8,130 total)
    — 5.6% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $4,403,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.36

27. Union Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 25.3% (1,240 total)
    — 9.2% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 14.6% (3,250 total)
    — 2.8% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,607,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.07

26. Lincoln Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 25.9% (2,440 total)
    — 9.8% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.6% (7,840 total)
    — 4.8% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $4,115,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.26

25. Ouachita Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 25.9% (9,970 total)
    — 9.8% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 15.7% (24,270 total)
    — 3.9% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $11,697,000
    — Cost per meal: $2.99

24. Tangipahoa Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 25.9% (8,480 total)
    — 9.8% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.3% (21,790 total)
    — 4.5% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $11,686,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.33

23. Natchitoches Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 26.2% (2,350 total)
    — 10.1% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.5% (6,360 total)
    — 4.7% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $3,158,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.08

22. Avoyelles Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 26.3% (2,500 total)
    — 10.2% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 18.2% (7,350 total)
    — 6.4% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $3,592,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.04

21. St. John the Baptist Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 26.3% (2,820 total)
    — 10.2% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 12.4% (5,360 total)
    — 0.6% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $2,963,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.43

20. Pointe Coupee Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 26.7% (1,290 total)
    — 10.6% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.8% (3,670 total)
    — 5.0% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,881,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.18

19. Iberia Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 26.8% (4,920 total)
    — 10.7% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.6% (11,770 total)
    — 4.8% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $5,820,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.07

18. Webster Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 26.9% (2,360 total)
    — 10.8% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 17.6% (6,830 total)
    — 5.8% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $3,260,000
    — Cost per meal: $2.96

17. St. Landry Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 27.0% (5,980 total)
    — 10.9% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 15.8% (13,040 total)
    — 4.0% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $6,210,000
    — Cost per meal: $2.96

16. Washington Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 27.4% (3,020 total)
    — 11.3% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 17.7% (8,210 total)
    — 5.9% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $4,388,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.32

15. Red River Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 27.8% (560 total)
    — 11.7% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.8% (1,430 total)
    — 5.0% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $714,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.10

14. Iberville Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 29.2% (1,960 total)
    — 13.1% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 14.2% (4,620 total)
    — 2.4% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $2,368,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.18

13. Franklin Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 29.3% (1,490 total)
    — 13.2% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 18.0% (3,620 total)
    — 6.2% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,661,000
    — Cost per meal: $2.85

12. Caddo Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 29.5% (17,030 total)
    — 13.4% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 16.0% (39,040 total)
    — 4.2% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $20,001,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.18

11. Morehouse Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 29.6% (1,800 total)
    — 13.5% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 17.6% (4,440 total)
    — 5.8% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $2,110,000
    — Cost per meal: $2.95

10. Evangeline Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 29.9% (2,450 total)
    — 13.8% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 20.8% (6,960 total)
    — 9.0% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $3,536,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.16

9. Richland Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 29.9% (1,400 total)
    — 13.8% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 17.9% (3,620 total)
    — 6.1% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,712,000
    — Cost per meal: $2.94

8. Concordia Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 30.4% (1,420 total)
    — 14.3% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 17.9% (3,490 total)
    — 6.1% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,660,000
    — Cost per meal: $2.95

7. St. Helena Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 32.0% (690 total)
    — 15.9% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 17.5% (1,790 total)
    — 5.7% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $979,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.40

6. Bienville Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 32.5% (990 total)
    — 16.4% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 19.2% (2,570 total)
    — 7.4% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,346,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.25

5. New Orleans

  • Child food insecurity rate: 33.4% (26,060 total)
    — 17.3% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 17.3% (67,740 total)
    — 5.5% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $41,636,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.82

4. Claiborne Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 34.6% (970 total)
    — 18.5% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 19.2% (3,050 total)
    — 7.4% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,508,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.07

3. Tensas Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 35.2% (360 total)
    — 19.1% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 18.0% (800 total)
    — 6.2% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $374,000
    — Cost per meal: $2.90

2. Madison Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 38.6% (1,030 total)
    — 22.5% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 20.6% (2,290 total)
    — 8.8% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $1,139,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.09

1. East Carroll Parish

  • Child food insecurity rate: 46.4% (790 total)
    — 30.3% higher than national average
  • Food insecurity rate: 25.9% (1,800 total)
    — 14.1% higher than national average
  • Annual food budget shortfall: $894,000
    — Cost per meal: $3.08

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