The only Jewish organization dedicated to fighting hunger in the US has announced a new initiative targeting food insecurity among seniors.

MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger announced recently that it is partnering with Jewish Family Service agencies across the country to help eligible seniors enroll in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).


“Deeply embedded in Jewish tradition is the belief that the community has an obligation to sustain its most vulnerable,” writes Abby J. Leibman, President and CEO at MAZON, in a press release. “It is unacceptable that a rising number of our nation’s seniors struggle to put meals on the table when we have programs, like SNAP, that could help them buy nutritious food. As the only national Jewish organization focused exclusively on issues of hunger, MAZON is uniquely positioned to do this work. We bring almost 30 years of experience in the anti-hunger field, shaped by Jewish values and tradition, to a population that too often suffers in silence.”

One report from Feeding America, one of the country’s largest anti-hunger organizations, found that 4.8 million seniors dealt with food insecurity in 2011, more than double the number from 2001. Those figures are expected to increase as the US population gets older with the aging of the Baby Boomers.

Founded in 1985, MAZON addresses hunger in the US and Israel in three ways: Education and Advocacy, Partnership Grantmaking, and Strategic Initiatives. Along with the new push to help seniors, the group’s current programs include initiatives targeting food insecurity and nutrition among active duty military and veterans, in rural areas, and among low-income families.