We at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger urge you to explore the priorities our policymakers (or future policymakers) are setting with regard to the hunger safety net in America. Read More
MAZON believes it is our responsibility to speak out on behalf of the 50 million men, women and children in America who struggle to put nutritious food on the table.
Hunger is not a matter of economics or logistics, but a matter of politics. But we can generate the necessary political will to end food insecurity by raising our voices and demanding that our legislators prioritize the needs of hungry people in their communities.
Advocacy must be at the core of our Jewish response to hunger. Charity without advocacy is not enough.
Other ways to advocate
Contact your elected officials
Contrary to what you may believe, elected officials want to hear from the people in the communities they represent. They want to know what matters to you – so tell them!
Visit his/her office
An in-person meeting with an elected official (or someone from his/her staff) is an incredibly powerful tool for ensuring that your voice is heard. Legislators want to hear from their constituencies, and they really take notice when someone from the community they represent makes time to come to his/her office to deliver a personal message about what matters most. Be sure to request a meeting ahead of time.
Make a call
A phone call is an easy yet effective way to let your legislators know what you care about and what you expect of them.
When you call, you will most likely voice your concerns to a legislative assistant, whose job it is to track how many people call and the issues they care about, and then report this information to their boss.
You can find phone numbers for your federal legislators by clicking the appropriate link below:
Write a letter
It may seem a bit old-fashioned in our e-focused world, but a well-written letter can make a strong impact on your legislator, especially if it includes a personal story.
Tips for writing an effective letter to Congress:
- Clearly state the purpose for your letter in the first paragraph.
- Be courteous and concise, even if you disagree with the legislator’s stance on a particular issue. Harsh language does more harm than good.
- Include relevant information examples whenever you can. Cite your direct experience related to the issue if you have it.
- Address only one issue per letter. If you wish to address more than one issue, write multiple letters.
- Limit the letter to one page.
Speak out in the press
A published op-ed article or letter to the editor helps to raise awareness about an issue in the community, often sparking conversation and even encouraging activism. Letters to the editor should be in response to an article that appeared in the publication. Op-ed articles should provide timely commentary on a newsworthy event.
Tips for writing an effective letter to the Editor or Op-Ed article
- Be clear and concise. A letter to the editor is typically 150 words or less. Op-eds are typically 600-800 words.
- Organize your writing logically. Introduce your argument; state your position; present your evidence; close.
- Stick to the facts and use clear evidence. Use statistics or quotes from prominent figures if you can, and cite your sources.
- Be firm and strong in your position, but do not attack individuals or use harsh language.
- Proofread then proofread again. Editors are inundated with submissions, and will often eliminate a piece, no matter how relevant the content, because of grammatical or spelling errors.