Envisioning an End to Hunger
Abby J. Leibman leads MAZON to center policy solutions to address food insecurity in the U.S.
A stunning one in ten households in the United States currently faces hunger. Under the leadership of Abby J. Leibman, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger is committed to exposing this shameful reality and ensuring that everyone can access the food they need and deserve.
Since its founding in Los Angeles in 1985, MAZON has become a prominent force in the national anti-hunger field, partnering with local organizations around the country, enabling them to embrace public policy efforts as central to their mission. With Leibman as its president and CEO, MAZON has become a leading voice in the field. In the last 12 years, she has overseen extensive improvements in fundraising and organizational resources - more than doubling MAZON’s staff, increasing its budget by over 40% and deepening the organization’s impact by opening offices in Washington, D.C. and Israel. Today, MAZON develops and advances key policy solutions to address hunger, centering the government’s obligation to ensure that all people can feed themselves and their families.
Leibman steers MAZON to play its unique role within the anti-hunger community - not only as the Jewish voice at the table but also to shine a spotlight on issues and populations where larger organizations and the government itself have yet to focus. MAZON’s current priorities include addressing food insecurity among military families, veterans, Native Americans, single mothers, LGBTQ seniors and the people of Puerto Rico. In shining a light on these groups and implementing tailored strategies, MAZON addresses the unique barriers each population faces in accessing federal nutrition safety net programs.
Today, MAZON approaches hunger as a civil rights issue, grounded in a fundamental belief that inadequate access to food undermines a person’s opportunities and weakens their ability to succeed in life. Leibman contends that to truly address hunger, we need the political will to examine the roots of societal problems such as racism, sexism, anti-immigrant sentiment and other forms of discrimination that contribute to persistent inequities, including food insecurity. Only with an understanding of those systemic biases, and through an understanding of our history - including the history of hunger and our response to it - can we realize meaningful, lasting policy changes.
Toward that end, MAZON will soon launch its new groundbreaking digital experience, “The Hunger Museum.” This first-of-its-kind interactive resource will illuminate 100 years of hunger and anti-hunger public policy in the U.S., alongside the cultural touchstones that accompany that history. Visitors to The Hunger Museum will experience immersive exhibits, exploring the intricate influence of social, cultural and political movements on hunger in America.
Under Leibman’s leadership, MAZON has remained deeply committed to the Jewish values of tzedek (pursuing justice) and b’tselem Elohim (respecting the inherent dignity of every person). It is these values that guide MAZON to chart a path toward a robust national commitment to end hunger by confronting the social problems that allow it to persist. Leibman and MAZON steadfastly believe that in a land of plenty, there should be plenty for everyone.