MAZON Says New Data Shows Bold Vision Needed to End Hunger in America
MAZON issued the following statement today in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, “Household Food Security in the United States in 2021.” USDA’s data reveals that nearly 10.2 percent of Americans — 13.5 million households — experienced food insecurity last year, a rate nearly unchanged from the year before, despite growing economic challenges.
“This data proves that investing in food assistance programs helps struggling Americans,” said Abby J. Leibman, MAZON’s President & CEO. “We are profoundly grateful that the most vulnerable among us were not ignored as food prices rose and that the rate of hunger and food insecurity did not grow in the last year, and we know this is due to protecting and expanding critical federal food aid programs like SNAP and WIC.
“However, the persistence of hunger year to year underscores that we must summon the political will to enact bold policies, yielding long-lasting, systemic changes at the upcoming White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. Our Jewish and American values demand that we confront the root causes of hunger, beginning with asking questions that examine the stark disparities among the most vulnerable. Why do single mothers face food insecurity at a rate more than twice the national average? Why are Black families nearly twice as likely to experience hunger than white families? Why doesn’t USDA collect data about Indigenous households in this annual report?
“Today’s data — what it reveals and what it omits — must be the basis for open dialogue at the upcoming White House Conference as well as the starting point for strengthening programs like SNAP in the 2023 Farm Bill.”