Quiconque a faim, vienne et mange...

30 Years of Impact


Our allocations this year (of close to $400,000) represent MAZON Canada’s thirtieth consecutive year of grants to organizations fighting hunger. Over these years we have helped hundreds of such organizations, often volunteer-run food rescue groups that are grateful for our grants enabling them to fill in with critical staples that often are not donated.


It all started, our founder Rabbi Arthur Bielfeld has written, when “a small group of prominent Canadians gathered in the living room of Peter Bronfman’s downtown duplex to hear a well-fed Rabbi speak about hunger.”


For MAZON’s ‘Bar/Bat Mitzvah Anniversary’ he recollected:

“It was largely an act of faith in the importance of the cause, and only occurred because of the generous support of a handful of synagogue members. No one at the meeting imagined how successful MAZON would be 13 years later. In retrospect, MAZON is another example of how ordinary people sometimes accomplish extraordinary tasks. We owe MAZON and the people of Canada a very special thank you for having fulfilled the dreams of her youth at a very tender age. May she continue to prosper.”


These ‘ordinary’ people began getting the word out to JCCs and shuls to their members in order to raise funds and awareness. Initially $25,000 was allocated, but by 1989, MAZON was allocating upwards of $60,000 annually. By mid-90s, 40,000 pledge cards were being distributed during holiday appeals encouraging congregants to donate 3% of their simcha catering costs.


Some of the first organizations funded, including BC’s Inland Refugee Society, still benefit from MAZON’s support annually. We anticipate that our allocations will continue to be responsive to need and focus on grants for food – typically the hardest line for a service agency to fund. At the same time, we are increasingly looking at programs that understand how feeding the hungry can also be an entry point to other key services as well as innovative approaches to alleviating hunger.


Today, 30 years deep in our project of being the Jewish face of Canadian hunger response, MAZON is pushing ahead to modernize in many key ways. Methods historically appropriate for a new organization are not necessarily effective today. Our Board has been renewed, welcoming new minds with new visions. We’ve upgraded our allocations process. We’re boosting our social media presence, focusing on an active Facebook page (‘Like’ us and leave us a comment if you want to make us really happy!) and a brand-new Instagram. We’re rebuilding our volunteer base and connecting with more people in meaningful ways.


In the last 30 years, we’re proud that we’ve allocated more than $8 million dollars to alleviate hunger. Unfortunately, the issue of hunger is just as present today as it was when our founders sat around that living room and dreamed up this unique Jewish Canadian project. We hope, that there will be no need for a MAZON Canada in another 30 years – because no one will face hunger. In the mean time, we will spare no effort to make sure that hungry vulnerable Canadians will not be forgotten.


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