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Welcome to the Activist Corner. We update this page regularly with the latest information, tools, and resources, so make sure to visit weekly.
For more information on this issue:
Watch for action alerts. For additional talking points, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-822-7323.
If you are looking for a video to introduce the 2019 Offering of Letters to your church or organization, consider using a video short from Rev. David Beckmann of his recent trip to Ethiopia. You can find the video here, or view all of the video shorts from his travels in Ethiopia and Guatemala here.
Many of you have been asking where you should report your Offering of Letters events. You can report letters here with the online feedback form.
For leaders interested in conducting an Offering of Letters workshop or adult forum on global nutrition, the organizing department has developed a PowerPoint presentation that you can be accessed here or in the Offering of Letters toolkit.
This email newsletter updates Bread for the World activists on hunger-related happenings in Congress. It is produced weekly while Congress is in session.
By Robin Stephenson
In early February, eight of the junior advisory board members for the nonprofit Joshua’s Heart Foundation ditched class—with permission—and met with staff at U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s Miami, Florida office to talk about hunger.
The students were there to urge their senator to invest in and scale-up U.S. efforts to combat global malnutrition. This time, the students were the teachers.
The students, Florence French, a regional organizer at Bread for the World, and Peter England, a longtime Bread member met with Lea Padron, regional director, South Region, and Annette Rodriguez, a special assistant in Rubio’s Miami office.
The students included: Sophia Costa Martinez, Thalia Castro, Chaz Castro, Chiara Kusmierek, Amogh Baranwal, Nicole Hawley, Katia Gelbstein, and Victoria Von Simpson.
The evidence is clear that development programs focused on nutrition save lives. Over the past decade, 50 million fewer children are suffering the consequences of chronic malnutrition that leads to stunting.
Still, 1 in 4 children worldwide are affected by stunting and may never reach their full potential. In Guatemala, nearly half of the children are stunted due to a lack of adequate nutrition.
For 16-year old Nicole Hawley, just talking about statistics is not enough.
“I’ve already forgotten the numbers,” said Hawley to Rubio’s staff after French talked about the preventable cost of malnutrition. What Hawley did know was that hunger drives people from their homes and from childhood.
After explaining that she had met with Guatemalan migrant workers through a school program, Hawley made the issue personal. “What I do remember is the experience of working with girls my age who don’t have the opportunities I do,” she said.
French has been working closely with students at Joshua’s Heart Foundation, conducting advocacy trainings and finding opportunities for the young change-makers to impact federal policy and funding that helps end hunger at home and overseas.
This year’s Offering of Letters: Better Nutrition, Better Tomorrow aims to build a stronger future by urging Congress to increase funding for global nutrition programs.
French believes that there is no group better equipped to bring such a message to a decision maker like Rubio than the eight students who are part of a movement that aims to empower youth to thrive.
"I believe everyone's voice matters and is needed when it comes to ending hunger—especially youth," French said. "It's their future at stake and they have something to say about it. It's our job not only to listen but make sure they are heard."
French, who makes it a habit to keep strong relationships with in-district congressional offices through frequent visits, said this meeting was a little more special than usual.
She said England’s participation was more than an opportunity for the students to get encouragement and learn from each other. It was also an advocacy strategy. "It amplifies the idea for members of Congress and their staff that ending hunger is something that matters to all ages," French said.
Robin Stephenson is senior manager for digital campaigns at Bread for the World.
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.
Please let us know what suggestions you have for this page and how we can assist you. Email us at email@example.com or call 800-822-7323.
These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C.
Good nutrition is a critical part of ensuring that all human beings can use their bodies and minds to live an active life and reach their full potential.
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