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 visit to Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson's office during 2017 Lobby Day. Photo: Laura Elizabeth Pohl for Bread for the World

Act Now

FARM BILL

  • Call (800-826-3688) or email your representative and tell them to vote NO on H.R. 2, the House Agriculture Committee's farm bill.
  • The House is expected to vote on the bill this week. The bill maintains and improves international food aid programs. However, it also proposes changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that would put millions of Americans at risk of hunger.

For more information on this issue:

Global Food Security Act

  • Call (800-826-3688) or email your members of Congress and urge them to co-sponsor the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act.
  • Lawmakers have introduced the Global Food Security Reauthorization Act (H.R. 5129/S. 2269). The House bill was unanimously voted out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee in April. The legislation's reauthorization will strengthen U.S.-funded global agricultural innovation and build up the political will needed to end global hunger and malnutrition in our lifetime. However, we need more cosponsors of the bill in order to get a vote before the full Congress.

For more information on this issue:

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


Registration is Open for Lobby Day

Join us for the Advocacy Summit and Lobby Day on June 11 and 12 in Washington, D.C., where you will join hundreds of Bread for the World members in urging Congress to protect funding for anti-hunger programs. Learn more about the event and register here.


Results: 2017 Offering of Letters: Doing Our Part to End Hunger

With the passage of the fiscal year 2018 spending bill, our 2017 Offering of Letters wraps up with a victory. Not only did we not see drastic cuts to anti-hunger programs, but thanks to your advocacy, we saw slight increases in summer EBT and food aid. In 2017, churches and individuals across the United States sent more than 176,000 letters, 164,000 emails, and made 32,000 calls to Congress, urging lawmakers to do their part and pass a budget that puts us on track to end hunger.

Stay Informed

Join the May National Grassroots Webinar and Conference Call

Tuesday, May 15 at 4 p.m. EDT

Register for the May National Grassroots Webinar and Conference Call to learn more about the farm bill. Ryan Taylor, a rancher and author of Cowboy Logic, and Karen Ehrens, a registered dietitian and policy advocate, are working together to advocate for a farm bill that helps end hunger. Hear how these two Bread members are joining forces and using their influence to make an impact in North Dakota.

Register for the Webinar    Watch past webinars


Get Fresh Bread Updates by Email

This email newsletter updates Bread for the World activists on hunger-related happenings in Congress. It is produced weekly while Congress is in session. 

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Rep. Conor Lamb speaking at an Offering of Letters workshop hosted by the Southwest Pennsylvania Bread team. Photo: David Street / Bread for the World

Activists in Action

When Southwest Pennsylvania Bread team leaders asked then-candidate Conor Lamb about his stance on anti-hunger programs earlier this year, they never expected he would be the guest speaker at their Offering of Letters workshop just a few months later.

Lamb, who recently won the special election to represent Pennsylvania's 18th district in the U.S. Congress, told the April 15 workshop participants that he supported a strong Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as part of  the farm bill. Joyce Rothermel and Myra Mann, Bread team co-chairs  and workshop organizers, said they thought the congressman had learned a lot about the farm bill by the time he spoke—an education that started on the campaign trail.

Mann was not impressed with Lamb during a January forum when she asked him what he would do for people experiencing hunger, if elected. She said his answer was brief and lacked depth. His response focused on school nutrition programs only, but she admits her question was phrased very generally.

Mann said Lamb needed to hear more about the importance of SNAP and the earned income tax credit (EITC). Mann's faith and her daughter's struggle to provide for her own family on only a $10 an hour nursing assistant job are the driving forces behind her advocacy.

SNAP is at risk under the new House Farm Bill proposal, making the issue urgent and legislation the newly-elected Lamb will vote on. The legislation imposes stricter work requirements that, if passed, would push more than 2 million people off the nutrition program.

"It makes me bristle," Mann said. "No one works harder than my daughter. She is burning it at both ends." Mann has not only seen first-hand the hard work it takes to survive on low-wages but says programs like SNAP and EITC keep her daughter's head above water.

Mann hoped Rothermel would have better luck getting Lamb to talk about SNAP when it was her turn at the microphone during his February Pittsburgh meet-and-greet.

Rothermel was prepared. She told Lamb that SNAP was under attack in the upcoming farm bill before asking if he would pledge, if elected, to work with anti-hunger advocates around food security. He made the pledge and this time he mentioned SNAP in his response.

Educating candidates about hunger before they are elected is a key part of Bread's I Vote to End Hunger campaign.

"I think it's critical to familiarize the candidates with the issues of food insecurity," Rothermel said. In fact, she sees it as an important void advocates should fill, especially when moving an urgent issue such as the House Farm Bill's threat against SNAP to the top of a candidate's priority list.

And that pledge Lamb made earned him an invitation to the Offering of Letters workshop organized by Mann and Rothermel. The idea for the invite came from Bread organizer Margaret Tran who reminded the women about Lamb's pledge.

So, they asked and he came.

"Elections are about educating potential members of Congress and setting the foundation for a long-term relationship," Tran said. "Joyce and Myra's persistence and dedication are a testament to how Bread leaders are the driving force behind our work to end hunger."

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

  • Feed the Future

    Feed the Future, launched in 2010, grew out of the U.S. response, led by President George W. Bush, to the 2007-2008 global food price crisis. Prices of basic foods doubled or tripled in some countries and pushed an additional 150 million people into hunger and malnutrition.

  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Hunger and Poverty in the African-American Community

    While hunger declined from 2017 for the general U.S. population, African Americans experienced a one percent increase, an increase of 153,000 African American households.

For Faith

  • Unity Declaration on Racism and Poverty

    A diverse body of Christian leaders calls on the churches and Congress to focus on the integral connection.

    Dear Members of Congress,

    As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...

  • In Times Like These … A Pan-African Christian Devotional for Public Policy Engagement

    This devotional guide invites deepened relationship with and among Pan-Af­rican people and elected leaders in the mission to end hunger and poverty.

  • Sermon by David Beckmann at Duke University Chapel

    Remarks delivered October 1, 2017 at Duke University Chapel in Chapel Hill in North Carolina.

    Thank you for inviting me to preach here at Duke University Chapel. And I especially want to thank the Bread for the World members who have come this morning.

    Bruce Puckett urged...

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.

    ...

  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

  • Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017

    Unnecessarily long prison sentences, combined with the lack of rehabilitative programs for people in prison, exacerbate hunger, poverty, and existing inequalities.

    Overly harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences have contributed to the rapid increase of our country’s prison population. The...

Field

Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017

Insight

The Jobs Challenge

April 10, 2018

From the Blog