January 12, 2017 | By Abby J. Leibman
Abby J. Leibman, president and CEO at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, released this statement today in response to the announcement that Dr. David Shulkin has been nominated Secretary of Veterans Affairs:
“MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger welcomes President-elect Donald Trump’s nomination of Dr. David Shulkin as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
As undersecretary for health at the Department of Veterans Affairs – an appointment by President Obama in 2015 – Dr. Shulkin has increased the department’s efforts to identify and address hunger among veterans.
In response to MAZON’s advocacy efforts, Dr. Shulkin helped establish a new Ensuring Veteran Food Security Workgroup in April 2016 to better coordinate VA efforts, develop and pilot food insecurity screening tools, establish a process for SNAP referrals and enrollment, and create partnerships with community groups to better support veterans’ needs.
MAZON appreciates the leadership that Dr. Shulkin has provided to move the Department of Veterans Affairs toward a more proactive role in addressing veteran food insecurity.
Over the past several years, MAZON has made it a priority to raise awareness about as well as address the food insecurity challenges faced by the families of veterans and those currently serving in the military. Through congressional briefings, testimony before Congress and dedicated advocacy, MAZON has called public attention to the unacceptably high rates of food insecurity among veterans, and has worked to remove access barriers to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
We look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Shulkin and the dedicated staff at the VA to ensure that veterans who have made great sacrifices in service to our country do not struggle to put food on the table.”