Food Security


Access to healthy food is slowly improving

Favorable movement since the last available data

Benchmark: Maine’s percentage of food insecure households will decline to the U.S. average by 2030.

Overview Fig. A Fig. B


Food insecurity has broad negative impacts on health, child development, education outcomes, and productivity. Food-insecure households have disrupted eating patterns, reduced food intake, and reduced quality or variety of diet.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about 1 in 10 Maine households (9.5%) was food insecure in 2019-2021, down from 11.4% in 2018-2020. This may reflect expanded access to government programs and the hard work of Maine organizations focused on hunger reduction. However, the change is within the margin of error for the estimates, meaning the trend is likely positive but the magnitude may be overstated. Keeping this uncertainty in mind, Maine’s rate of food insecurity appears to be below the national average of 10.4% and above the New England unweighted average of 8.2%.

County-level data are from a different source with a slightly higher estimate of food insecurity (10.4% for Maine in 2020). According to Feeding America, 2020 food insecurity ranged from 9.2% in Cumberland County to over 15% in Piscataquis, Somerset, and Washington counties.


Fig. A

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Food Insecure Households (Three-Year Average)

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Feeding America

Fig. B

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Food Insecurity Rate by County 2020

Source: Feeding America