April 20, 2016

2016 National Hunger Seder

By Emily Dingmann
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Last week marked our 2016 National Hunger Seder at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center!

The event urged Congress and the Administration to acknowledge that hunger is a very real problem for too many military families and veterans. 

“Government safety net programs are not adequately meeting the needs of currently serving military families and veterans,” said Abby J. Leibman, president & CEO of MAZON. “Those who make great personal sacrifices in service to our country should not have to struggle to provide regular, nutritious meals to their families.”

The National Hunger Seder adapts the traditional Passover seder, telling the story of the Exodus with an emphasis this year on the prevalence and preventability of hunger among currently serving military families and veterans. “Jewish people all over the world begin their Passover seders by inviting ‘all who are hungry [to] come and eat,’” said Rabbi Joel Pitkowsky, who serves on MAZON’s board of directors and led the ceremony. “We know we cannot accommodate every hungry man, woman and child at our individual seders. But these words remind us that, as a society, we are responsible for them all – whether they are civilians or part of the extended military community.”

Thanks to all who attended to address this issue.

Honorary co-sponsors of this year’s National Hunger Seder:

  • Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), House Committee on Agriculture Chairman,
  • Rep. Collin C. Peterson (D-MN), House Committee on Agriculture Ranking Member,
  • Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Chairman, and
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Ranking Member.

USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), and U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black were among those in attendance, as well as representatives from the National Military Family Association and The American Legion. Officials from the Administration and staff from the offices of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-MI) also participated in the seder.

For more information about MAZON’s efforts to end hunger among military families and veterans, please visit mazon.org/military.

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Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA)

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), Rabbi Joel Pitkowsky

Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX)

Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-TX)

USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon

USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon