Visualizing and Telling the Story of Hunger

Visualizing and Telling the Story of Hunger

Join Girls Inc. of Holyoke in an exploration of worldwide hunger trends.

Contributed By: Girls Inc of Holyoke


Girls Inc. of Holyoke inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold by providing them the opportunity to develop and achieve their full potential. The STEM group at Girls Inc has been learning about hackathons, data, and visually presenting ideas. As part of this exploration, they watched the famous Hans Rosling 200, 200 Years, 4 Minutes video.

This video distills 120,000 numbers into a story about world progress in the last 200 years.


The Girls Inc. STEM group would like to apply similar data and storytelling techniques to explore worldwide hunger over the years. What indicators tell the story of food insecurity? They have brainstormed several data points to explore:

  • income
  • unemployment (also by gender)
  • country
  • race
  • age

This challenge is to find a story in these data, determine the best way to tell it, and possibly predict future trends.

Questions to be answered include:

  • What time frame to examine?
  • Which countries to include?
  • Is it possible to delve into specific countries (particularly the U.S.) for a closer look at regional trends?

Girls Inc. will be working on this challenge and welcomes other hackathon participants to lend their expertise.

Approach and Goal

This project isn’t about cleaning data or writing a lot of code. Rather, the goal is to focus on the visualization and storytelling.

Using tools that can accomplish this without a lot of setup and coding is encouraged, so the team will be able to keep exploring once the hackathon is over. For example, Google motion charts (which can also be inserted right into a Google spreadsheet)


To this end, we also anticipate getting most or all of the data prior to the hackathon. Some of the potential data sources are:

  • The World Bank (global)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (global)
  • Current Population Survey Food Security Supplement (US)
  • American Community Survey (US indicators; for example)


Discuss, brainstorm, plan, and collaborate on this challenge here.