Hunger Free Oklahoma Receives Critical Investment from National Anti-Hunger Organization

Hunger Free Oklahoma Receives Critical Investment from National Anti-Hunger Organization

Grant is part of a new wave of gifts from MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger to seed and support grassroots anti-hunger infrastructure


September 21, 2021 (Tulsa, OK) As the country continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, Hunger Free Oklahoma (HFO) is one of 52 organizations selected to receive funding through a critical $2.5 million investment from MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger. The national anti-hunger organization’s partnership grants will help stem the tide in persistent food insecurity that was exacerbated by pandemic-related shutdowns.

“We are very grateful for MAZON’s support which helps us expand the breadth of our policy work, build new partnerships and advocacy networks, and take a more proactive approach to policy reform in Oklahoma,” said Chris Bernard, executive director of Hunger Free Oklahoma.

This partnership grant is part of MAZON’s Emerging Advocacy Fund, a national initiative to increase or sustain staff capacity at anti-hunger organizations across the country to advance long-term solutions to hunger in local communities. The latest round of partnership grants from MAZON increases its five-year giving total through the fund to more than $6.4 million. Hunger Free Oklahoma will use the grant funding to expand HFO’s statewide, coordinated policy effort. Through this grant, HFO will identify and develop innovative policy solutions, expand our focus on policies impacting the food security of seniors, infants, and expecting mothers, and remove barriers in order to effectively and efficiently get resources into the hands of vulnerable Oklahomans.

“We are witnessing an inflection point for the hunger crisis in the United States and around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic nearly doubled the number of people within the United States facing food insecurity, and local organizations have been on the front lines of emergency food assistance while also working for sustainable solutions,” said Abby J. Leibman, president and CEO of MAZON. “Since its founding in 1985, MAZON has been committed to addressing food insecurity in the United States through policy change. We are particularly proud of the pioneering role we’ve played in helping to build a strong and resilient anti-hunger advocacy infrastructure in diverse regions across the United States. MAZON is proud to lift up and empower local organizations in 13 of the 15 most food-insecure states in the country, and we look forward to seeing these organizations fight for the structural change we need to end hunger in our communities.”

Nationwide, the COVID pandemic and related shutdowns have doubled the number of people experiencing hunger in the United States from 40 million to 80 million.

Recipients of MAZON’s Emerging Advocacy Fund grants include:

  • Alabama Arise, (Montgomery, Ala.)
  • Alabama Food Bank Association, (Huntsville, Ala.)
  • Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, (Little Rock, Ark.)
  • Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, (Little Rock, Ark.)
  • Center for Rural Affairs, (Lyons, Neb.)
  • Children’s Action Alliance, (Phoenix, Ariz.)
  • Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, (Indianapolis, Ind.)
  • Feeding Kentucky, (Frankfort, Ky.)
  • Feeding Louisiana, (Baton Rouge, La.)
  • Food Justice Lab/ West Virginia University Research Corp., (Morgantown, W.Va.)
  • Good Shepherd Food Bank, (Auburn, Maine)
  • Hunger Free Oklahoma, (Tulsa, Okla.)
  • Indy Hunger Network, (Indianapolis, Ind.)
  • Kansas Action for Children, (Topeka, Kan.)
  • Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, (Lawrence, Kan.)
  • Kentucky Center for Economic Policy / Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, (Berea, Ky.)
  • Kentucky Equal Justice Center, (Lexington, Ky.)
  • Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • Louisiana Budget Project, (Baton Rouge, La.)
  • Mississippi Center for Justice, (Jackson, Miss.)
  • Missouri Budget Project, (St. Louis, Mo.)
  • MomsRising, (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law & Public Interest, (Lincoln, Neb.)
  • North Carolina Alliance for Health, (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • North Carolina Justice Center, (Raleigh, N.C.)
  • Oklahoma Policy Institute, (Tulsa, Okla.)
  • Open Sky Policy Institute, (Lincoln, Neb.)
  • Operation Food Search, (St. Louis, Mo.)
  • Preble Street, (Portland, Maine)
  • Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, (Flowood, Miss.)
  • Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
  • Tennessee Justice Center, (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, (Charleston, W.Va.)
  • West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, (Charleston, W.Va.)
  • William E. Morris Institute for Justice, (Phoenix, Ariz.)


Hunger Free Oklahoma works to leverage the power of collaboration to solve hunger in Oklahoma by improving systems, policies, and practices. Learn more at Apply for SNAP by phone: (877) 760-0114.

MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, inspired by Jewish values and ideals, is a national advocacy organization working to end hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds in the United States and Israel. For more information on MAZON, please visit

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