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More than 1 in 7 Kentuckians live in households struggling with hunger

By Jennifer Burnett
Almost 15 percent of Kentuckians live in households with food insecurity.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 12.3 percent of U.S. households were food insecure at some time during the year, on average, from 2015-2017. That means that these households were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food.

Kentucky has a higher percentage of food insecure households than the national average at 14.7 percent, but that rate varies significantly by county. In 17 of the most-impacted Kentucky counties, more than 1 in 5 people live in food insecure households.

Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the nation, calculated county-level rates of food insecurity for 2016.

According to the organization’s data, Oldham County has the lowest percentage of food insecure households in the state at 8.0 percent, followed by Spencer County (9.7 percent) and Boone County (9.9 percent).

On the other end of the scale, Magoffin County has the highest percentage of food insecure households in Kentucky at 23.9 percent followed by Wolfe County (23.2 percent) and Clay County (22.7 percent). 

Program Created to Tackle Hunger in Kentucky

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has launched The Hunger Initiative, a first-of-its-kind effort in Kentucky to bring together farmers, charitable organizations, faith groups, community leaders, and government entities to begin a dialogue to help reduce hunger in Kentucky.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles has made reducing hunger in both the rural and urban parts of Kentucky a major priority during his time in office.

To learn more, visit the Initiative’s website:

The Kentucky Association of Counties is proud to support The Hunger Initiative.



Kentucky Association of Counties
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