Mazon's Fifth Question (2019)
Each year at the Seder, we ask the traditional Four Questions. And each year, MAZON asks a Fifth Question to raise awareness about a particular hunger-related issue and spark important conversations around the seder table. This year, we turn our attention to our seniors, who are aging into poverty and hunger at a rapid rate. Why is it that when we talk about aging in America, we never talk about hunger?
Why is this time of life different from all other times of life?
Hunger among Americans 60 and older is a growing crisis. One in seven seniors lives in poverty, and 4.9 million seniors struggle with hunger. SNAP is a lifeline for seniors, but many older Americans are not receiving this vital assistance. Three out of five seniors who are eligible for SNAP do not participate, meaning millions of seniors are missing out due to shame, stigma, and difficulty accessing services.
Why is it so hard to be older in America? Why are so many seniors aging into poverty? On this night, we honor our elders, our ancestors, and those who came before us. On all other nights, how is it that we allow seniors to go hungry?
How can we fail to respond when our elders are suffering? Tonight, we ask how we can change the reality for the 4.9 million seniors who are struggling with hunger
LEADER: Our tradition demands that we ask questions, challenge the status quo, and work to create a more fair and equitable society. We were slaves, but now we are free. And with our freedom comes the responsibility to work for justice and freedom for all.
Avadim hayinu Ata b’nai chorin.
We were slaves – now we are free.
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