Ahead of Rosh Hashanah, MAZON Says White House Conference Must Embrace ‘Reflection’ and ‘Real Change’

September 23, 2022

Next Wednesday, September 28th — one day after the Jewish community celebrates Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year — President Biden is hosting a White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health in Washington, DC. MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger will attend the Conference, which will include remarks from high-level government officials including President Biden, Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack, Ambassador Susan Rice, and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff.

Today, in advance of Rosh Hashanah, Abby J. Leibman, MAZON’s President & CEO, expressed hope that the upcoming Conference creates new opportunities not only to strengthen critical federal programs but to examine the historic causes of hunger, overcome political differences, and create strategies that eradicate hunger in America:

“As we approach Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish community enters a time of deep reflection. This year, we have an opportunity to reflect not only on our personal and communal struggles, but also a chance to chart a new path forward for those facing hunger in our country. I harbor no illusions that a one-day summit will help us end hunger overnight, but it can allow us to ask questions and understand how we got here.

“Hunger is not a new phenomenon — it has always been a part of our nation’s history. Why has it persisted? What worked effectively in the past? What made the problem worse? What is our collective responsibility for not only easing but even eradicating hunger?

“To really end hunger in this country, we need to consider systemic changes as part of a bold vision. We will not all agree on the answers, but a summit like this is supposed to embrace that struggle, that moment of reflection. That is where real change comes from.”