September 08, 2017

Mississippi Edition


This fall, MAZON is embarking on an unprecedented effort to understand hunger in America and heighten our impact on it.  MAZON is hitting the road to visit the most food-insecure areas of the country[1] - places where economic circumstances and the political attitude toward public benefit programs are both typically the most challenging. Advocates in these communities face formidable challenges, but many also exhibit great strength, resilience, and creativity in their work as they fight to expand and strengthen the food safety net.

We know that the current political climate has emboldened governors and legislatures in state capitals like Augusta, ME, Charleston, WV and Topeka, KS, to pursue draconian cuts to their own safety net programs.

We felt that we could not allow these unprecedented threats—either at the federal or state level—to advance nor our energy to decrease. We understand that as a Jewish response to hunger, we have an obligation to go to these places and help advocates fight even harder to protect the safety-net programs that help tens of millions of people.

MAZON is committed to building advocacy capacity in these environments, and to supporting and empowering advocates in the economic, civil and social justice spaces so they can expand their political and social clout. Too often, what stands in the way of greater success for these anti-hunger champions is a lack of resources to accomplish meaningful change. In this way, MAZON can and will help.

Over the next few months, our grants team, Daniel Rosove (Program Director) and Alexis Miller (Program Officer) will meet with dozens of groups and advocates in these communities to learn what’s pressing for them, what’s on the horizon and what they need to help those who struggle in their state. And they’ll be sharing what they find with you. Follow @mazonusa on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and the hashtag #MAZONontheRoad for fun travel experiences, eye opening facts, portraits of advocates and more.

[1] MAZON will be traveling to the following states (household food insecurity rates in parentheses): Mississippi (18.7%), Maine (16.4%), North Carolina (15.1%), West Virginia (14.9%), Tennessee (13.4%). For more information on household food insecurity, consult the USDA report, Household Food Security in the United States in 2016.