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About St. Clair County

  • Often referred to as the Metro East, St. Clair County is part of the bi-state St. Louis metropolitan community.
  • It’s the second largest metropolitan region in Illinois outside of Chicago.
  • It’s a diverse mix of metropolitan and urban communities, and home of some of the lowest income communities in the state.
    • East St. Louis is community of 27,000 people, 45.4% living at or below the poverty level (American Community Survey 2014).
    • Fairview Heights is a suburban community of 17,250 located in southwestern St. Clair County. One out of four families with children under 18 are headed by women, and 25% of these families live in poverty. (American Community Survey, 2014).
  • St. Clair County ranks 97 out of 102 Illinois counties in the National County Healthy Rankings for overall health.

Key health concerns

  • Access to healthy foods
  • Poor nutrition
  • Obesity
  • Chronic diseases like diabetes

Food insecurity and food deserts in St. Clair County

  • 13% of the US population is food insecure.
  • 17% of the St. Clair County population is food insecure, struggling to afford balanced meals.
  • Over 15% of the St. Clair County population doesn’t have access to healthy foods, according to the County Health Rankings.
  • For the 26,000 people who live in East St. Louis, access to healthy foods is challenging. There is only one mainstream grocery store in town; so many people rely on over 40 small corner stores as food sources.
  • Twelve urban census tracts in St. Clair County have been identified as food deserts.