MAZON Delivers a Special Sukkot Message About Hunger to the White House…
Today, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger delivered more than one thousand paper plate letters to White House leaders as part of a program that engages campers at Jewish summer camps around the country in meaningful anti-hunger education and advocacy work.
Rabbi Erin Glazer, MAZON's Senior Engagement Officer: Chanan Weissman, Associate Director, White House Office of Public Engagement; Katharine Ferguson, Special Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the Domestic Policy Council; Josh Protas, MAZON's Vice President of Public Policy; Amanda Nesher, MAZON's Legislative Assistant
Campers wrote to President Obama on empty paper plates to thank him for all that he and his administration have done for those in our country who face food insecurity, and to encourage the President to do all he can to strengthen and expand access to vital nutrition safety net programs in his remaining days in office.For the young people who participated in the MAZON camp engagement program, who range in age from 8 to 18, the symbolism of the empty plate was particularly resonant. Many wrote about how sad they felt to hear about kids who went hungry or parents who skipped meals in order to feed their children. Some even shared their own stories: Ethan, who is 12, wrote, “My family gets SNAP. At the time we started, neither of my parents had jobs. We’re doing a little better now. My mom has a job and my dad is trying to start his own business. Please keep supporting SNAP for kids like me.”
And Hadassah, shared, “My best friend was eating really unhealthy food or not eating at all because that was all her family could afford. Now my family packs me two lunches to take to school every day, one for me and one for her. But she is graduating soon and I worry about her and everyone else like her.”
42.2 million Americans struggle with food insecurity, including 13.1 million children. MAZON is committed to ending hunger in the U.S., a goal that involves strengthening essential and effective nutrition safety net programs upon which so many individuals and families rely, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and free and reduced price school meals. As the paper plates we just delivered to the White House demonstrate, young people in the Jewish community are also deeply committed to these programs and to the goal of ending hunger.
On Sukkot, we celebrate the harvest and the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables in the market, but this abundance is also a reminder that there are those in our communities who lack access to the nutritious foods they need to lead healthy active lives. This year, let’s work together to make sure that everyone gets the help they need and that every plate is full.