‘‘Those Who Need It the Most’’: Equity Framing in 2021 U.S. Print News About Food Assistance

Hina Mahmood, Pamela Mejia, Sarah B. Perez-Sanz, Kim Garcia, Sarah Gollust, Jeff Niederdeppe, Erika Fowler, Laura Baum, Breeze Floyd, Lori E. Dorfman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To understand how equity appeared in news about food assistance from 2021. Methods: We assessed a national sample of news articles (N = 298) for equity arguments and language about racial and health equity. Results: Only 28% of coverage argued that food assistance programs promote equity. Just 6% mentioned people of color or named racial disparities in food access. Discussion: Narratives that explain how food assistance programs reduce inequities could deepen their policy appeal and broaden public perceptions around recipients. Health Equity Implications: There are opportunities for news coverage to expand the discussion of how food assistance programs improve racial and health equity outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-414
Number of pages4
JournalHealth Equity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation [Grant ID: 78666].

Publisher Copyright:
© Hina Mahmood et al., 2023; Published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


  • food assistance
  • media
  • print news
  • public health
  • racial inequity
  • safety net programs


Dive into the research topics of '‘‘Those Who Need It the Most’’: Equity Framing in 2021 U.S. Print News About Food Assistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this