Throughout MAZON’s 36-year history, we have invested in advocacy across the nation, recognizing that states have a great deal of import and influence in helping to ensure that all those in their community can feed themselves and their families. To date, MAZON has invested nearly $80 million to build the movement to end hunger, and we continue to collaborate with key partners to advance public education, community organizing, and lasting policy change.
Our investment in advocacy at all levels of government includes longtime partnerships in Indian Country, which are a key piece of MAZON’s work to strengthen food security and food sovereignty among Tribal Nations. While most Tribes are legally recognized to govern themselves, they are often denied the same rights and resources as federal and state governments. COVID-19 is the most recent example of how policymakers at all levels must commit to strengthen Tribes’ sovereignty so tribal leaders can ensure the health, safety, and wellness of their people.
Some of MAZON’s current state projects include:
- Outreach to indigenous and other communities in Arizona, through advisory groups of Tribal and other advocates and experts.
- Supporting bills in California that would provide universal school meals, allow college students to receive CalFresh, and make it easier for seniors to access nutrition benefits.
- Building an advocacy network in Kentucky, which responded to the pandemic through leveraging flexibilities in programs like SNAP.
- Organizing synagogues in Massachusetts to urge the state legislature to adopt universal school meals.
- Defeating several harmful bills in the Missouri state legislation that would have implemented family sanctions tied to work requirements in SNAP.
- Enabling the advocacy community in Puerto Rico to increase their hunger-fighting capacity, and to counter policies that prevent the people of Puerto Rico from receiving the same SNAP benefits as those in states.
- Educating and mobilizing the Jewish community in West Virginia and working to amend the state constitution to guarantee the human right to food.
Mia Hubbard is the Vice President of Programs at MAZON.