Why Food-Security and Water-Security Go Together

Do you drink your tap water? Is it potable and ample? Can you cook food with it, and use it to mix infant formula and cereal? In “Why America’s food-security crisis is a water-security crisis, too,” Lela Nargi discusses how asking residents these simple questions about their water could actually uncover some of the millions of Americans who are water insecure—a circumstance directly connected to food insecurity.

Mother Jones’ syndication of the story allowed the piece to reach an additional 8M readers, in addition to a social media audience of 2.7M.

This story was picked up by Kaiser Health News, Maven’s Notebook, NewsBreak (local news app), and Hunter College’s Food Policy Watch.

It received a 2023 honorable mention award from the Society for Environmental Journalists in the Outstanding Explanatory Reporting category. Judges’ comments: “In much of the United States, the availability of clean water is taken for granted but Lela Nargi’s reporting reveals some disconcerting trends that are becoming more frequent. The reporter’s excellent explanatory writing delineates the connection between water insecurity and food insecurity, finding that nearly 60-million people struggle to find potable water and food to feed their families.”

On Twitter we saw engagements around the story from The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center at Hackensack University Medical Center (254 followers), Food Bank Council of Michigan (700 followers), Brandon West (director of Voters of Tomorrow Ohio, 19.4K followers), and Kjtja Weir (national editor at Kaiser Health News, 4.1K followers).

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