MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger recently launched The Hunger Museum. The digital project explores the history of hunger in America, revealing how the past can inspire hope for a hunger-free future.
MAZON is a national organization dedicated to ending hunger among all faiths and backgrounds in the United States and Israel. MAZON builds their initiatives on the core principle that regardless of a person’s circumstance, no one deserves to be hungry.
“Our goal at MAZON is to create a non-judgmental food policy,” Naama Haviv, Vice President of Community Engagement at MAZON, tells Food Tank. “This includes dismantling the shame and stigma around hunger by exploring the full history of hunger in America and showing how visionary leadership has met that challenge time and again.”
The Hunger Museum opened its virtual doors in March of this year and is positioned online as if it were located on the National Mall in Washington D.C. Situated near halls of power, the museum reminds visitors how advocating for systemic change can help end hunger.
Haviv says the digital nature of The Hunger Museum was motivated by shifting perceptions of virtual resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It became clear that our impact would be much greater with a digital resource that anyone, anywhere could access with just a computer and internet connection,” says Haviv.
The Hunger Museum’s website, designed by actual architects, utilizes “2.5-D” technology to create a more personal, immersive, and dynamic experience for visitors. By showcasing key moments across the past 100+ years, the museum informs visitors about the complex cultural, economic, and political history of hunger in America. Haviv believes this history has the potential to inform future solutions.
“We want people to understand what it takes to finally solve hunger — a robust, visionary government investment in the social safety net,” Haviv says. “Only our government has the scope and scale to meet a problem this vast.”
Since opening, The Hunger Museum has generated a broad range of interest from individuals and organizations, including faith groups and professional groups, and an architecture podcast.
“The joy of an entirely virtual museum is that we can add a wing anytime we want!” says Haviv.
MAZON is already discussing ideas for new exhibits and tours in the museum. They hope to bring in groups of educators and students to inspire young people to fight for food security.