Operation Food Search receives grant from Jewish hunger relief organization (STL Jewish Light)

St. Louis Jewish Light staff
October 6, 2021

This article first appeared in St. Louis Jewish Light on October 6, 2021.

Operation Food Search (OFS), a nonprofit aimed at ending hunger in the St. Louis metro area, has received a $70,000 grant from MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, which tries to address the issue in the United States and Israel.

OFS will use the grant funding to support advocacy work, according to a news release from the organization, which is based in Overland.

“Funding from MAZON is crucial to our ability to address the root causes of hunger by championing change at the state and federal level,” Kristen Wild, OFS president and CEO, stated in the release. “We move the needle on food insecurity only through a combination of providing food and creating systemic change, and our grant from MAZON helps us do just that.”

The grant is part of MAZON’s Emerging Advocacy Fund, an initiative to increase or sustain staff capacity at anti-hunger organizations across the country. The latest round of partnership grants from MAZON increases its five-year giving total through the fund to more than $6.4 million.

Nearly 15% of U.S. households—and almost 18% of households with children—reported food insecurity early in the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey conducted via social media by researchers at the NYU School of Global Public Health. That’s an increase from before the pandemic, when about 11% of households in the United States were food insecure, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

“We are witnessing an inflection point for the hunger crisis in the United States and around the world,” Abby J. Leibman, president and CEO of MAZON stated in the release.