Activist Corner

Welcome to the Activist Corner. We update this page regularly with the latest information, tools, and resources, so make sure to visit weekly.

Bread for the World members urge members of Congress not to cut funding for programs which help those who are experiencing hunger

Act Now

Budget

  • Call (800-826-3688) or email your representative and senators and urge them to oppose budget cuts to critical anti-hunger programs, such as SNAP, refundable tax credits, and international development.
  • The House and Senate continue to work toward a budget resolution that would trigger tax reform through the budget reconciliation process. The House Budget Committee passed a version that includes deep cuts to programs that help end hunger, such as SNAP, Medicaid, and refundable tax credits. Both chambers are currently working on fiscal year 2018 spending bills that must pass by Dec. 8 to avoid a government shut down. Continue to urge members of Congress to reject cuts to anti-hunger programs and to pass a budget that will end hunger by 2030.

For more information on this issue:

Immigration

  • Call (800-826-3688) or email your members of Congress today. Urge them to stand up for young people who are DACA recipients and to co-sponsor the Dream Act of 2017 (S.1615/ H.R. 3440).
  • The Trump administration recently ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It left 800,000 undocumented young adults without legal protections and at risk of deportation. The bipartisan Dream Act of 2017 would grant them permanent legal status and put them on the path to citizenship. Immigrants, especially those who are undocumented, face higher rates of hunger and poverty.

For more information on this issue:

Watch for action alerts. For additional talking points, contact organizing@bread.org or call 800-822-7323.


Schedule your letter-writing event

The 2017 Offering of Letters: Doing Our Part to End Hunger is available in English and Spanish.


Complete Your Activist Field Report Form

Have you met with a new member of Congress? We would love to hear about it. Tell us about your experience using the field report form.

Stay Informed

Join the Next National Grassroots Webinar and Conference Call

Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. EDT

Register for the September Grassroots Webinar and Conference Call and get an update on legislation moving in Congress that affects hunger and poverty.

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In 2016, the Food Closet provided over 23,000 Oregonians with emergency food.

Activists in Action

Showing Hunger: A Pantry Tour in Oregon

Tucked in the corner of the parking lot at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Beaverton, Oregon, a tiny pantry serves some very big needs in the community. In 2016, the Food Closet provided over 23,000 Oregonians with emergency food.

Recently, Bread leaders in the Archdiocese of Portland invited some of the staff of  Senator Jeff Merkley (D, OR) and Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D, OR-01) to tour the pantry. They wanted to show the impact proposed federal budget cuts to programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps) would have on local churches and families experiencing hunger. In August, Jagjit Nagra, Alexa Damis-Wulff, and Brian Plinski saw first-hand how churches are on the front lines of the fight against hunger.

“I’m no policy expert,” Al Schmitt, who manages the pantry, told the three congressional staffers. “I just know the need, and you’ve got people barely hanging on.”

The Food Closet is open three days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Church volunteers serve an average of 8 families every 30 minutes. In addition, Holy Trinity and 4 other churches run a backpack program that provides nutritious food to qualified students in 12 schools.

Hunger and the demand for food have grown during Schmitt’s tenure as pantry manager.  “We have seen an average 10 to 12 percent annual increase in the number of people we serve in each of the past 5 years,” he said.

About half of the clients need both SNAP and the food pantry to get by until they get back on their feet.  Many, he said, have jobs but they just don’t make enough to cover the cost of living. The number of seniors on a fixed income, not able to afford both high rents and food, are frequenting the pantry in greater numbers.

Eileen Sleva, who coordinates social justice ministries at Holy Trinity, set up the tour because she is deeply concerned about cuts to the safety net, including a proposed $150 billion cut to the SNAP program.

“We are doing our part to address hunger in Beaverton,” she said. “The church — our resources and volunteers — can only stretch so far.  Cuts would mean families would go hungry.”

Roman Catholics from Oregon sent more than 1,000 letters to their members of Congress.  They urged the lawmakers to prioritize the most vulnerable people as they make funding choices in the federal budget. 

Schmitt stressed that we all need to do our part to help vulnerable families with few choices and even fewer resources. Leaning against a tower of boxes of food that would soon be transferred into hundreds of backpacks, he ended the tour with a question to the congressional staff: “Every day these families deal with their own Hurricane Harvey,” he said, “If you cut more, now, where are they going to go?” 

More Resources: Activist Tool Kit

The Activist Tool Kit is intended for new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists. It provides a set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

It's ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists. Form your own toolkit by printing out some or all of the sheets in the kit.

How-tos:

Issues-related pieces:

Biblical resources:

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Please let us know what suggestions you have for this page and how we can assist you. Email us at organizing@bread.org or call 800-822-7323.

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

  • The Nourishing Effect

    Hunger and food insecurity add at least $160 billion a year to U.S. healthcare costs.

  • Mind the Gap: Nutrition to Bridge Humanitarian and Development Efforts

    By Jordan Teague

    Because the world has made so much progress against hunger in recent decades, those who face hunger, malnutrition, and extreme poverty are increasingly likely to live in areas currently experiencing or recovering from crises. They are the hardest to reach and the most...

  • International Development Association (IDA) and Nutrition

    Improving maternal and child nutrition is the most cost-effective investment in international human and economic development.

    Improving nutrition not only alleviates human suffering, but also improves the conditions that create poverty in the first place. For every $1 invested in...

For Faith

  • The Bible on Health as a Hunger Issue

    A brief examination of the biblical approach to health as a hunger issue.

    Includes an introduction to the issue, a Scriptural reflection, practical actions you can take, and a prayer.

  • Bread Newsletter January 2016

    In this issue: Another Great Year for Bread; Catholics Begin Observance of Holy Year of Mercy; Serving on ‘God’s Wave Length’ for 39 Years; and more.
     

  • Interfaith Religious Leaders’ Pledge to End Hunger

    A wide array of the nation’s faith leaders have come together on the eve of Pope Francis’ arrival in the United States to commit ourselves to encourage our communities to work for the end of hunger by 2030 and, toward that end, for a shift in U.S. national priorities.

    We are deeply pleased...

For Advocacy

  • Grassroots Advocacy Toolkit

    A set of how-to sheets for carrying out advocacy and fact sheets on the current issues Bread for the World is working on.

    For new and current Bread grassroots hunger activists.

    Ideal as a starter toolkit for new Bread activists or as a set of updates for current activists.

    ...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

    Learn more about the principles that Bread for the World supports regarding health reform.

  • El Dream Act de 2017 (S. 1615 & H.R. 3440)

    Estados Unidos es una nación de inmigrantes. A través de su historia gente de todas partes del mundo se han trasladado aquí y han contribuido en sus comunidades y a nuestra vida nacional. Hoy, al igual que en el pasado, los inmigrantes continúan creando prosperidad y enriquecimiento para esta...

Field

Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017

Insight

Running their own lives

September 15, 2017

From the Blog