White House Endorses, Elevates New MAZON Projects in Historic Commitments to End Hunger

February 28, 2024

The Biden-Harris administration today announced a powerful round of commitments as part of the White House Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities, which includes new national initiatives from the leading anti-hunger organization MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. MAZON’s staff attended the announcement event at the White House earlier today alongside Second Gentleman Emhoff, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, Congressman Jim McGovern, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chef José Andrés, and others.

“We are deeply proud to be part of the historic effort to address hunger in this country, and we are heartened that the White House is recognizing and uplifting MAZON’s focus on two all-too-often overlooked populations: Indigenous communities and college students,” said Abby J. Leibman, MAZON’s President & CEO. “The White House Conference in September 2022 prompted conversations at the highest levels of government, which is both remarkable and momentous. Yet today, where there was once strong bipartisan support for anti-hunger policies, partisan posturing on the far right has given rise to mounting challenges and another threat of a government shutdown that would be devastating for those struggling with hunger and poverty. We at MAZON are more committed than ever to utilizing our expertise, skills, and creativity to reverse the course of hunger in this country.”

As part of its White House commitment, MAZON will pursue several strategies to improve food security and food sovereignty among Indigenous communities. These include new investments to promote Tribally-driven solutions to revitalize and advance traditional food systems and diversified economic development throughout Indian Country. MAZON will also work alongside Indigenous leaders to develop a new permanent exhibit in its all-virtual experience, The Hunger Museum™.

“This country has a long and troubled history in Indian Country, with government food programs being used as a tool of colonization,” said Mia Hubbard, MAZON’s Vice President of Policy. “Developing new educational content for The Hunger Museum will enable and encourage diverse audiences to confront and understand the historical and contemporary effects of federal food policies in Indian Country, as well as how Indigenous communities today are asserting food sovereignty and holding the U.S. government accountable for the obligations owed to Tribes. We are eager to work alongside our partners in Indian Country to bring these critically important stories to light.”

MAZON’s White House commitment also includes educating, organizing, and convening student leaders from its Challah for Hunger campus chapters across the country for a leadership conference in Washington, DC. Challah for Hunger is a project of MAZON that brings together campus and community groups around the Jewish tradition of baking challah, and donating the proceeds of sales to the fight to end hunger nationally and locally.

“At its core, Challah for Hunger is really a leadership program,” Leibman continued. “Bringing campus leaders to our nation’s capital will enable us to deepen their understanding of the realities and complexities of hunger in America — both on college campuses and beyond. They will learn directly from policy experts, develop skills to advance change in their communities, and bring their passion and stories to the halls of power as they meet with Members of Congress. Their voices will be essential in actualizing long-term solutions to end hunger in this country.”

MAZON was deeply engaged in advocating for the convening of — and voicing its goals for — the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, which was held on September 28, 2022. Prior to this, the first and only gathering of its kind took place in 1969 led to the creation and expansion of federal nutrition programs like SNAP, WIC, and the National School Breakfast and Lunch Program.