Who faces food insecurity in Brazil

Entry type: Single project

Country/area: Brazil

Publishing organisation: Nexo Jornal

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 2022-02-10

Language: Portuguese

Authors: Main authors:
Caroline Souza, infographic designer
Larissa Redivo, web development intern
Lucas Gomes, infographic designer
Gabriel Zanlorenssi


Caroline Souza is a visual journalist and designer with a bachelor degree in Geography, at University of São Paulo, and Columbia’s Lede Progam Alumni.

Lucas Gomes is an information designer and bachelor in Design.

Larissa Redivo is a web developer and Computer Systems Analysis student at University of Vale do Itajaí. She also holds a bachelor degree in Biology, at Federal University of Santa Catarina.

Gabriel Zanlorenssi is Data Editor at Nexo Jornal and master in Political Science.

Project description:

This material explain three levels of domestic food insecurity, from impaired food quality to widespread hunger.

It provides statistics to understand the situation in Brazil, aggravated in recent years. Illustrations, charts and maps are used to better comprehend what is food insecurity and the scale of the problem.

Impact reached:

This material used illustrations and a creative data visualization scheme to address a delicate and sensitive topic.

It was among our top 10 most read stories in 2022, with an average read time of 2m32s. It also inspired other two publications about food insecurity among children and the self-esteem impact of food insecurity (see additional links).

Techniques/technologies used:

Data was treated using Google Spreadsheets. Some charts were made using Flourish, others directly in Adobe Illustrator. Illustrator was also used for the layout and visual enhancements of the carts. JavaScript for the interactive menu, with no additional library.

Context about the project:

Hunger has long been one of the major issues in Brazilian society. During the early 2000s, many efforts and investments were made to reduce the levels of food insecurity. When in 2014 the United Nations Division for Food and Agriculture released its “Hunger Map” map and Brazil was not in the list, it was widely celebrated as a metric of success of those policies.

However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, food insecurity levels skyrocketed with the Economic deterioration and rising food prices. Brazilians faced hunger once more and the topic gained media attention.

Bolsonaro’s administration and the ex-president himself denied the existence of hunger in Brazil, prompting doubts in official data. Our work aimed to explain what is food insecurity and who faces it, in a more attractive and less technical way.

What can other journalists learn from this project?

The highlight of this work is the creative intersection between traditional data visualization and illustration strategies to address an extremely sensitive topic.

Project links: