Hunger in Maine

Latest Statistics Confirm Ongoing Hunger Problem

In the wake of the recent economic crisis more people are hungry than ever before. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (USDA) reported in September 2013 that 49 million Americans, including over 16 million children are food insecure.

A person is considered food insecure if they lack access to enough food to ensure adequate nutrition.

Many Mainers were hard hit by the recession and continue to struggle to make ends meet. The USDA estimates that 14.9 percent of Maine households, or approximately 200,000 individuals, are food insecure. The number of Mainers who are food insecure has increased significantly in recent years. Maine ranks 18th in the nation and 1st in New England in terms of food insecurity.

Hunger in Maine (Source: USDA)

  • Population:  1,328,361
  • Food insecurity rate:  14.9 percent of households, or approximately 200,000 people
  • Maine ranks 18th in the nation and 1st in New England in terms of food insecurity
  • Child food insecurity rate: 24 percent, or nearly 1 in every 4 children, are food insecure (62,800 children)
  • Maine ranks 18th in the nation, 1st in New England in terms of child food insecurity
  • Senior food insecurity rate: 5.46 percent of seniors are food insecure
  • Maine ranks 17th in the nation, 1st in New England in terms of senior food insecurity
  • Food insecurity has increased by 50 percent in the past decade

Hunger by County

Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study provides data on food insecurity in each Maine county. Visit the interactive map to learn more.

 Additional Facts About Poverty & Hunger

  • Poverty rate in Maine:  12.6 percent (Source: Census Bureau)
  • Child poverty rate in Maine:  19.3 percent (Source: Kids Count Report, Maine Children’s Alliance)
  • Maine unemployment rate:  6.7 percent (Oct. 2013, Source: ME Dept. of Labor)
  • Food Stamps: Approximately 18 percent of Mainers are using food stamps (Jan. 2014, Source: USDA)
  • 36 percent of Maine’s food insecure population makes too much to qualify for food stamps and must rely on the charity food assistance network (Source: Feeding America)