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Advocacy and Bringing it Home

Posted on 11/12/2013 @ 10:30 AM

Tags: pep


Rachel Dow of BBYO North Texas Oklahoma Region writing a letter to President Obama on a paper plate for the Paper Plate Campaign

On the third and final day of Hunger is Not a Game, Laura Mizes of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger joined the group. During her time with the teens, they discussed ways to best advocate for people experiencing hunger in their home communities.

Laura shared some inspiring stories of initiatives MAZON has undertaken and championed in different states around the country. For example, free and reduced lunches for school-aged kids are lost over the summer. In Texas, MAZON passed legislation that said,schools with 50% or more of kids on free/reduced lunch are required to offer school meals over the summer.

The question remained, how can teens help affect change like this?

One way is to start a Paper Plate Campaign, writing advocacy letters to legislators on paper plates.

The Summit participants then spent the morning on a Paper Plate Campaign. At the end of the program, Laura charged the teens with bringing this activity home by researching hunger issues in their communities, encouraging their local synagogues to get involved and being in touch with MAZON for help moving forward.

"The squeaky wheel gets the oil…" she said. Or, the more voices there are, the more likely they are to be heard. "Be a voice for the voiceless."

After three days of learning not only about hunger in the US, but also how to make an impact on this issue and truly help those experiencing it, the teens are heading back to their home communities with the knowledge and tools necessary to make a difference.

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