MAZON: “Needless Delays For Critical $900 Million Puerto Rico Disaster Aid Extended Human Suffering”

June 6, 2019

MAZON: “Needless Delays For Critical $900 Million Puerto Rico Disaster Aid Extended Human Suffering”

National Food Crisis Still Keeping Millions of Americans Hungry

WASHINGTON, DC (June 6, 2019) — MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger today expressed gratitude that the President signed into law a $19.1 billion disaster relief package, which includes $900 million in critical funding for Puerto Rico’s nutrition assistance and community development block grants. Passage of this disaster aid package was an advocacy priority for MAZON.

“While we are heartened that the funds will now be available for Puerto Rico, the needless delays for critical disaster aid is shameful,” said Abby J. Leibman, President & CEO of MAZON. “It is unconscionable that Puerto Rico has been denied life-saving nutrition benefits because of a lack of political will. All individuals must have access to the resources they need to put food on the table. While MAZON applauds this moment, it is long overdue and is but one step forward in addressing widespread food insecurity nationwide and the unfair treatment of Puerto Rico. It is unfortunate that the enactment of this legislation was delayed while certain individuals chose politics over people, and human suffering for millions of Americans was extended as a result.”

MAZON has been advocating tirelessly on behalf of hungry families in Puerto Rico and, working shoulder-to-shoulder with lawmakers and partners to ensure that urgently needed nutrition benefits were included in the final funding package. The uphill and lengthy legislative battle underscores the critical need to advocate on behalf of hungry and poor Americans everywhere.

Instrumental to MAZON’s successful advocacy push was the timely persistence of two national delegations in Washington, DC: the Jewish Clergy Justice Mission in April and the Emerging Advocacy Fund Convening in May. Together, over 50 rabbis and cantors representing multiple denominations, anti-hunger experts from 16 organizations in 9 states, MAZON’s board of directors and senior leadership met with more than 75 congressional offices to discuss urgent anti-hunger priorities, chiefly Puerto Rico’s escalating hunger crisis.