A History of MAZON's Grantmaking: Where We've Been and Where We're Going

For 36 years, MAZON has been a leader in the national anti-hunger field, building consensus among the U.S. emergency food system that structural change, and working toward that change, is a legitimate — and necessary — means of advancing an anti-hunger agenda. MAZON accomplished this not only by providing critical funding, but also by enabling hunger relief agencies to embrace public policy efforts as central to their mission.

Using its platform as a funder, MAZON helped convince an often skeptical hunger relief community that charity will never solve hunger in America. We were a pioneer in educating the anti-hunger community about the federal government’s critical role in ending hunger. In doing so, MAZON built broad acceptance among emergency food providers that ending hunger requires public policy intervention. We continue to empower the hunger-relief community to view policy solutions and systemic change as front-burner issues worthy of investing human and financial resources.

 MAZON’s expertise in seeding, supporting, and strengthening the anti-hunger movement has uniquely positioned us to reinvest in ecosystems where populations are most vulnerable and the anti-hunger infrastructures are the most under-resourced. In these communities, MAZON can have an outsized influence, impact, and success in advancing policies to end hunger and empowering organizations to respond to the growing needs in their communities.

Beginning in 2018, MAZON refocused its U.S. grantmaking on states with the highest rates of food insecurity — not coincidentally, these states tend to have fewer organizations and individuals working to address hunger. After extensive research and fieldwork, we identified that the most significant impediment to advancing effective policies in these states is a lack of resources to sustain advocacy staff positions.

Today, MAZON’s Emerging Advocacy Fund invests in staff capacity so our partners have the stability and financial security to leverage their local expertise, taking on new challenges and addressing hunger through advocacy and public policy efforts that achieve long-term, systemic change. Our Quick Reaction Fund also awards one-time grants to enable and empower innovative, rapid-response initiatives that may emerge at a moment’s notice.

Please contact Alexis Miller, Senior Program Manager, with any questions.

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