Nonprofits Team Up to Curb Hunger With New National Funding (The Garden Island)

September 7, 2022

This piece originally appeared in The Garden Island on September 7, 2022.

Four Hawai‘i nonprofits are jointly launching a new effort to end hunger in the state, thanks to new funding from MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, a leading national anti-hunger organization.

Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law &Economic Justice, Hawai‘i Children’s Action Network, Hawai‘i Foodbank and Hawai‘i Public Health Institute will advocate to improve the public policies and systems that are currently falling short for Hawai‘i’s families.

More than 130,000 Hawai‘i residents don’t have enough to eat, including over 50,000 keiki, according to Feeding America.

“No one in Hawai‘i should go hungry,” said Deborah Zysman, executive director of Hawai‘i Children’s Action Network. “Thanks to this funding from MAZON, our four organizations will be able to fight for policy-based solutions and end the vicious cycle of neglect and economic struggle, especially among our most-vulnerable populations.”

The four nonprofits are among 13 new partners in MAZON’s Emerging Advocacy Fund, a nationwide effort to support and expand grassroots anti-hunger work in the states most impacted by food insecurity.

“With nearly four decades of experience fighting hunger in this country, we know that people in some states face greater barriers to food security, but no one deserves to be hungry, regardless of circumstance or ZIP code,” said Mia Hubbard, vice president of programs at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

“We understand the value and vitality of building a strong, resilient anti-hunger advocacy infrastructure, and we are more committed than ever to listen to, learn from and support communities facing high rates of food insecurity,” Hubbard said.

Over five years, the Emerging Advocacy Fund has invested in more than 50 other organizations in 19 states and Puerto Rico, and this latest allocation increases its total giving in the U.S. to more than $9.1 million. MAZON also invests in strategic partners in Israel and Indian Country.

“Sadly, Hawai‘i is consistently ranked among the bottom of all states for its performance in delivering meals to children,” said Daniela Spoto, Hawai‘i Appleseed’s director of anti-hunger initiatives.

“This new funding will allow our four nonprofits to work with families, policymakers, state agencies and other community organizations to collectively create solutions to the urgent issue of hunger facing our families,” Spoto said.