About the Museum

Today, a staggering number of Americans struggle to put food on the table. The Hunger Museum is a unique and powerful exploration of how we got here and how we can end hunger.

It is an unprecedented digital project of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, which is a national organization fighting to end hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds.

The Hunger Museum tells the story of the last 100 years of hunger and anti-hunger public policy in the United States, alongside the cultural touchstones that accompany that history, demonstrating that with a robust government response we can end hunger — and almost did. Political winds and policy changes reversed that victory, leading to an over-reliance on an already overwhelmed charitable food network — but that does not need to be our future. 

Through six galleries of historical content, MAZON’s exhibits and artifacts illuminate the political, economic, and cultural influences of the time, revealing the expansion and dismantlement of the American social safety net over the last century and how, with this history in mind, we can forge a path forward to end hunger.

The (Virtual) Location:
Washington, DC

We have positioned this all-virtual museum as if it were located on the National Mall in Washington, DC — between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Holocaust Museum. While The Hunger Museum does not exist in person, we envision it situated near the halls of power in our country, reminding us that advocating for systemic change can help us right historical wrongs and enact policies to end hunger once and for all.

Museum Credits

Lead Historian – Caroline Luce Ph.D.
Caroline Luce is a historian of immigration, labor, and working-class culture in the American West. For more of her work, see her website

Contributing Historian – Peter Chesney
Peter Sebastian Chesney is a critical historian of the senses with a focus on 20th-century urban culture. For more of his work, visit his website

Website Design and Development – Loyal Design
Loyal is a creative studio helping companies and organizations build a better world. For more of their work, visit their website.

Logo Design – Emily Rich Design
Emily Rich Design, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service design studio that offers an integrated approach to visual storytelling, brand identity, strategic graphic design and messaging across print and digital platforms, websites and marketing campaigns. For more of her work, visit her website.

Architectural Design – BDA Design LLC
Digital Architecture with a perspective. Contact here.

Architectural Renderings – Picksell Studio
Contact here.


Museum Sponsors

Champion Sponsors
David Levine & Sherrie Zacharius | Richard & Barbara Rosenberg | The Rosenblum Family | Evely Laser Shlensky | Howard & Marcie Zelikow

Advocate Sponsors
Leonard & Dr. Rochel David | Wayne S. Flick & William D. Hynes | Frank Family Foundation | Audrey Irmas Foundation for Social Justice | Paramount Global | Steven A. Nissen | Harvey S. Rosen and Marsha E. Novick | Ritta Rosenberg | Daniel & Sheila Segal | Howard & Janet Tarkow | Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP

Curator Sponsors
Karen & Andrew Jacobs | Steven Krikava & Linda Singer

Partner Sponsors
Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman | Sue & Barry Brucker | The Chernoff Family Charitable Trust | Dr. Mark Collons | Conduit Government Relations | Cary Davidson | Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion | Liz Kanter Groskind & Eric Groskind | Rabbi Harold Kravitz & Cynthia F. Reich | Abby J. Leibman | Joshua Malina & Melissa Merwin Malina | Rick & Debbie Powell | Janice Kamenir-Reznik & Benjamin Reznik | Paula Rudnick | West End Strategy Team LLC

Citations and Resources:
A Wealth of Information

The Hunger Museum touches on many issues, themes, and historical events related to the hunger in the U.S. Here are some of the important resources we referenced in creating the Hunger Museum, as well as suggestions for additional reading to dive deeper into these complex stories:

  • Breadlines Knee Deep in Wheat: Food Assistance in the Great Depression, by Janet Poppendieck, University of California Press
  • Dorothea Lange: The Photographer as Agricultural Sociologist, by Linda Gordon, Journal of American History
  • Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors, by Marian Wright Edelman
  • Paradox of Plenty: A Social History of Eating in Modern America, by Harvey Levenstein, University of California Press
  • Pitied but Not Entitled: Single Mothers and the History of Welfare, 1890-1935, by Linda Gordon, Harvard University Press
  • The Racist Roots of Work Requirements, by Elisa Minhoff, Center for the Study of Social Policy
  • School Lunch Politics: The Surprising History of America’s Favorite Welfare Program, by Susan Levine


For more information about the Hunger Museum, and to suggest additional resources, please contact Liz Braun-Lilenfeld, MAZON’s Deputy Director of Outreach at lbraun@mazon.org or (424) 208-7227.

Takedown Policy

MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger and The Hunger Museum provide access to digital materials for purposes of education and research only. Access does not confer rights to re-use. It is the sole responsibility of the user to obtain any legal permission necessary for re-use. We do not hold the copyright to many of the works in The Hunger Museum, but in cases where we have information about existing rights holders, we are happy to share it.

The Hunger Museum, a virtual project of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, is an educational initiative dedicated to raising knowledge and awareness of the past and current circumstances of hunger in the United States. Our approach in the creation and curation of this museum has been with this goal in mind, and is intended to be in full compliance with all applicable intellectual property laws. If there is material in the virtual museum that you believe violates your intellectual property rights, please contact us at bgreen@mazon.org. If we receive such communications, we will remove the artifact from the exhibition as we work to address concerns regarding permissions.

At the Museum
Explore our galleries, exhibits and venues.
Hunger in the Industrial City
Glaring inequities prompt new public attention to the plight of the poor and new social and political debates about hunger.
Visit Gallery
America in Crisis and Recovery
A “New Deal for America” becomes the first significant federal investment in addressing hunger in American society.
Visit Gallery
WWII and the Paradoxes of the Postwar Era
Feeding Americans was an integral part of national defense during WWII — but hunger continued to be real problem for millions of Americans.
Visit Gallery
The Fight for the Right to Food
The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s fundamentally changed the ways Americans understood the causes and consequences of hunger.
The Unmaking of the Great Society
Reagan and Clinton’s efforts to “reform” America’s safety net increased the number of people struggling with hunger, fostering the belief that charity and corporate donations could tackle hunger better than a broad-based government response.
How It Is — And How It Should Be
New crises of climate, economics, and health made it clear that neither personal responsibility nor charity could meet the needs of an entire population.
Your voice matters

A Wishing Tree to End Hunger

The Wishing Tree is a collaborative project between Yoko Ono and the audience that engages with it. The Wishing Tree is an open letter to individuals, inviting them to write down their wishes on small tags of paper before attaching them to a live tree.

What is your wish for those around the world who suffer from hunger?

Book a Tour

"*" indicates required fields

(*We suggest this tour for advanced high schoolers and above. Student curriculum is forthcoming.)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.