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Covering Food Insecurity: Access, hunger, and empathetic reporting about a basic need
Most people know what it is to get hungry. But persistent hunger and a lack of access to convenient and affordable healthy foods is something much more, disproportionately affecting communities already underrepresented in news coverage. Food insecurity can be difficult for journalists to cover consistently because of its seeming invisibility.

Food deserts and insecurity throughout the U.S. are growing and have gained attention as cities have experienced higher rates of food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic. As school-age students return to classrooms this fall, they’ll do so without the universal meal waivers that have helped struggling families through the last two years. And the May 14 mass shooting at a Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo, NY, brought attention to food inequities in the predominantly Black community while the store remained closed after the attack.

These communities are in your coverage area, and reporting this deeply important, fundamental access issue is critical to finding solutions. Join the National Press Club Journalism Institute at 11:30 a.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 21 for this discussion about what journalists can cover at the intersection of food access, community impact, and systemic racism.

Participants will learn how to:

- Identify food deserts and food insecurity issues within your community and their root causes
- Shift from reactive to proactive coverage
- Consistently connect food insecurity stories to root causes in coverage
- Cover food insecurity issues with empathy and care for individuals
- Keep up to date with resources and tools to report on the issue

We hope you’ll join us for this important conversation, supported with funding from the Gannett Foundation.

Oct 21, 2022 11:30 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Alejandro Figueroa
Food reporter @WYSO
Alejandro Figueroa covers food insecurity and the business of food for WYSO through Report for America — a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Figueroa particularly covers the lack of access to healthy and affordable food in Southwest Ohio communities, and what local government and nonprofits are doing to address it. He also covers rural and urban farming.
Bridget Huber
Reporter @Food and Environment Reporting Network
Bridget Huber is a Staff Writer at FERN. Her work has been published and broadcast by National Geographic, Public Radio International, The New York Times, The Lancet, Mother Jones, The Associated Press and many others. A graduate of UC Berkeley's journalism school, she's received grants, awards and fellowships from The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, The UC Berkeley/11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship and Mesa Refuge, among others. She speaks Spanish, French and some Portuguese and lives in Portland, Maine.
Lauren Lindstrom
Independent journalist and O'Brien Fellow in Public Service Journalism @Marquette University
Lauren Lindstrom is an independent journalist focused on health and housing as an O'Brien Fellow in Public Service Journalism at Marquette University. She previously covered affordable housing and homelessness for The Charlotte Observer, writing about the human toll of evictions during the pandemic, substandard housing conditions and challenges to address homelessness. She was also the health reporter for The Blade in Toledo, Ohio, where she wrote about the state’s opioid crisis and childhood lead poisoning. Lauren is a Northwestern University graduate and a former Report for America corps member.
Karen Robinson-Jacobs
Investigative reporter @Lee Enterprises
Karen Robinson-Jacobs is a Chi-Town native and an award-winning journalist who has been chasing the big story for decades. She serves as an investigative reporter for media company Lee Enterprises on its newly formed Public Service Journalism team. She also is a Knobler Fellow with Type Investigations and recently completed one year as a Corps member with Report for America, covering issues of concern to African Americans for the St. Louis American.