Ahead of White House Summit, MAZON Says Task Force Report ‘A First Step’

August 23, 2022

This morning, a Task Force led by Tufts University released a report to inform the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. The leading anti-hunger advocacy organization MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger said the report contains many thoughtful recommendations toward fighting current hunger and food insecurity in America, but the Conference itself must confront root causes and provide long-lasting solutions to these social problems.

MAZON — a leader in calling for the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health  and a member of a Strategy Group advising the Task Force — issued the following statement today from its President & CEO Abby J. Leibman:

“The Task Force got many things right in this report — most notably the fact that we must look beyond charity to expand and modernize the federal food programs that provide critical support to so many Americans. The process of crafting these recommendations revealed the wide array of opinions, perspectives, and experiences about hunger and how to address it. We are particularly mindful of those areas where there was no consensus and note that this is why this Conference offers a unique moment to dig deeper and explore first why there is disagreement, and then how we resolve such disparate positions.

“We must approach these efforts with deep respect and empathy for those who are struggling with hunger. We must not get lost in statistics and forget that these are families struggling to provide healthy meals for themselves and their families. We must not blame or punish them. We must recognize not only their dignity but also that they are trapped by a system that fails to adequately support them.

“While today’s report is an important first step, the White House Conference must go further than the Task Force and address the systemic causes of growing hunger and food insecurity in this country. It must confront the harsh realities of systemic racism and decades of discrimination related to gender and immigration status. With the upcoming Conference, we have a unique and historic opportunity to explore our past and then strategize for a future without hunger. Only through open and robust discussion will we be able to find long-lasting, transformative solutions to these deep-rooted problems plaguing our society.”