What does hunger mean in DC?

As private university students, we can’t pretend to know that answer. But we wanted to find out. “The Hungry DC” is a multimedia project conducted by American University students exploring the landscape of hunger in the nation’s capital. The semester-long multimedia journalism project was done in collaboration with NPR’s Washington-area radio station WAMU 88.5, and reported and produced by students in Amy Eisman’s journalism class “Writing and Editing for Convergent Media.” D.C. has an incredible social divide—on one hand, the city was rated one of the most popular cities for wealthy millennials. On the other, approximately 12 percent of District residents are “food insecure.” Food insecure means they do not know where the next meal is coming from. Through this project, we examined what exactly it means to be food insecure, and made some surprising discoveries about the changing face of hunger. We discovered that the landscape of hunger in D.C. is not only about the hungry but the people who serve them and work to combat hunger. Through intensive reporting, researching and editing, the 19 students created an immersive multimedia experience complete with videos, audio, graphics and text stories. It was a truly remarkable experience that helped us grow as journalists and become familiar with a side of D.C. we had never seen before.

-Hoai-Tran Bui
Managing Editor, “The Hungry DC”



Thank you to all the professionals and individuals who made this project possible. First to American University professor Amy Eisman, who led us fearlessly through this project. WAMU 88.5 online managing editor Seth Liss for backing our project and encouraging our ambitious venture. Marian Peele, senior director of partners and programs at the Capital Area Food Bank, for opening our eyes to the realities of hunger in D.C. and setting the project on its path. Lauren Orsini, freelance reporter and adjunct professor at American University, for making last-minute WordPress fixes and empathizing with our frustration. University of Delaware assistant professor and former New York Times reporter Richard Jones for aiding us with our WordPress theme and video editing. American University journalism professor John Watson for guiding us through any ethical or legal issues in our project.