Most of us think of hunger affecting big cities and urban areas, but hunger has been steadily rising among low-income families in rural communities, who face unique struggles. Some communities are so small and so spread out that in order to get a bag of food for your family, you would have to drive 2 hours to the nearest food pantry. This requires a car, gas and half a days time. Some pantries don’t have the infrastructure to properly store refrigerated or frozen foods so are unable to accept donations when they come, and many feel they have exhausted their small donor base and need to find other ways to raise money in order to serve their growing client base.
Last Monday (January 14, 2013), MAZON officially kicked-off our Rural & Remote Initiative, which will help a select group of food pantries from across the country meet the rising challenges they face. Representatives from each of the 9 partner agencies came to Los Angeles for the first of two in-person sessions, which are specifically designed to arm them with the resources and tools they need to set and accomplish their goals. Through the Rural & Remote Initiative, made possible by generous funding from the Walmart Foundation, MAZON will provide financial support, training in areas like fundraising, advocacy, and community building, and opportunities to network and learn from peers facing similar challenges.
Our partners have started the strategic planning process and will be working closely with MAZON staff to fine-tune these plans – stay tuned!