Local Congregations Help Secure a Brighter, Healthier Future for School-Aged Children in Texas

Michelle Stuffmann
Phone: (424) 208-7203
Email: mstuffmann@mazon.org

Dallas, TX, August 21, 2013—Thanks to a collaboration of activists from Dallas-area synagogues and statewide anti-hunger organizations, low-income Texan children in schools throughout the state will no longer have to struggle through each morning’s lessons distracted by a grumbling stomach.

The MAZON Advocacy Project-Texas (MAP-TX), a community-based initiative of national nonprofit organization MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, was instrumental in advancing new bi-partisan legislation that expands the National School Breakfast Program in low-income communities across the state. The new law, which in May was passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Perry, mandates that free in-school breakfast be provided to all children if 80 percent or more of that school’s students qualify for free or reduced price meals. As a result of this new law, as many as one million additional children will receive a nutritious breakfast, instead of having to sit at their desks hungry. And this additional School Breakfast Program participation will allow Texas to receive an additional $140 million in federal funding.

“MAP-TX galvanized the Dallas-area Jewish community to put its social justice principles into action in the effort to end hunger locally,” says Shirley Davidoff, MAP-TX program co-chair Vice Chair for MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. “Breakfast plays such an important role in promoting a child’s health and development, which in turn can impact their behavior, attention and achievement. Promoting greater participation in the School Breakfast Program helps to ensure that all Texan children are set up for a bright and successful future.”

The MAZON Advocacy Project-Texas was co-chaired by Dallas residents Davidoff and MAZON board member, Ellen Markus. The coalition also included clergy and representatives from Congregation Beth Torah (Richardson), Temple Emanu-El (Dallas), Congregation Shearith Israel (Dallas) and Temple Shalom (Dallas), as well as Children at Risk, the Center for Public Policy Priorities, the Texas Food Bank Network and the Dallas Independent School District Food and Child Nutrition Services.

About MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger

Founded in 1985, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is a national nonprofit organization working to end hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds in the United States and Israel. For more information, please visit mazon.org.