MAZON Distressed About Growing and Unaddressed Food Insecurity Needs, Urges Further Congressional Action

March 25, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA (March 25, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Senate passed bipartisan legislation to stimulate the economy and provide some relief for families, healthcare workers, businesses, and others who are struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite tireless advocacy by MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, in partnership with national and local anti-hunger partners, this legislation omits urgently-needed benefit increases to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

In response, Abby J. Leibman, MAZON’s President & CEO, said:

“This is far from ‘comprehensive legislation’ in the face of this crisis. MAZON and our partners are firing on all cylinders to ensure that people have access to the federal nutrition programs they need to survive. But the current situation has shined a spotlight on the gaping holes in our nutrition safety net. Nearly 40 million Americans struggle to put food on the table on a regular basis, and COVID-19 is already exacerbating their hardship, as well as adding to the number of people at risk of food insecurity. Increasing SNAP is not only essential, it is urgent — without it, we will see countless Americans thrown into dire circumstances and needlessly suffering from hunger.”

Last week, MAZON released policy priorities to outline specific concerns and propose solutions related to hunger among veterans, military families, students, seniors, women, Native Americans, people in rural and remote communities, and Americans in Puerto Rico. In addition to legislative advocacy, MAZON has launched a COVID-19 Fund and petition urging governors to increase benefits and expand access to nutrition assistance.

Leibman concluded:

“This moment requires true leadership and urgent action — increasing benefits for SNAP must be a priority in the next legislative package. Governors must use every tool at their disposal to increase and expand nutrition benefits. We stand ready to work with Congress, the Administration, and states to ensure that all Americans can feed themselves and their families.”