MAZON Observes Hunger & Homelessness Week to Raise Awareness of Campus hunger in America

November 20, 2019


Nonprofit Plays Leading Role in Helping Pass Campus Hunger Legislation at State and Federal Levels

Los Angeles, CA (November 20, 2019) —As the nation prepares for the year-end holidays, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger recognizes that for millions of Americans, this time of year does not provide a respite from the challenges of struggling with hunger. In recognition of this crisis, MAZON observes Hunger and Homelessness Week with a special call to attention to the ongoing efforts to end hunger on college campuses nationwide.

MAZON President & CEO Abby J. Leibman said, “As campuses across the nation close in observance of year end holidays, we know that hunger doesn’t take a holiday break, and during this time of year, it is especially fitting that we underscore the dignity of being able to access healthy and nutritious food as a basic civil right, not a privilege. While this is a time of family and festivities for some, we are reminded that hunger is an epidemic that affects communities nationwide, requiring our collective action at state and federal levels to combat the systemic and root causes of hunger. MAZON continues to lead this effort as the only Jewish social benefit corporation advocating for widespread legislative change to ensure access to nutritious food for all students.”

MAZON advocated for the Government Accountability Office report released earlier this year, which found that a shocking 39% of all undergraduates in the nation—almost 7.3 million students—are at risk of hunger because of low household income.

MAZON has significantly increased the visibility of college hunger as a growing national problem and encouraged policymakers to include hunger-related provisions in the landmark College Affordability Act (H.R. 4674), which includes several provisions to better connect students to federal assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

MAZON has also worked to advance several bills at the state and federal level, acknowledging the prevalence of campus hunger and proposing solutions to address this longstanding issue.

“Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is a time to do more than acknowledge the day-to-day struggles of millions of Americans to make ends meet – it’s a time to recommit to the solutions that will one day end those struggles once and for all. MAZON is at the forefront of that work,” Rep. Norma Torres (CA-35) said. “I’m grateful for their partnership on my bill, the BASIC Act, and for their commitment to serving those in need all across the country.”

Chaffey College student Terry Hernandez reflected on how being food insecure while in college impacts her life: “The stress from wondering if I’ll have enough to pay rent, have food, have gas, and still passing my classes makes every day harder than it should be. If we are told school is the way to progress, then I think stable housing and income is the foundation students should depend on to make sure we can give our best.”

Hunger affects more than 37 million Americans, or 1 in 9 people, including college students, active-duty military, veterans, seniors, LGBT seniors, and people living in rural, remote and Indian Country.