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.

Constituents from Indiana speak with Senator Todd Young during Bread for the World's 2017 Lobby Day. Photo: Laura Elizabeth Pohl for Bread for the World

Act Now

Budget

  • Call (800-826-3688) or email your representative and senators and urge them to oppose cuts to critical programs, such as SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), Medicaid, refundable tax credits, and international development.
  • Members of the House are in their home districts for the month of August, having left Washington D.C., without voting on a budget resolution. The resolution that passed out of the House Budget Committee cuts SNAP by $150 billion, Medicaid by $114 billion, above the more than $800 billion proposed in the American Health Care Act, and includes $20 billion in cuts to refundable tax credits for low-income working families. The budget also proposes cutting yearly spending on non-defense programs by $1.3 trillion over 10 years, putting programs like WIC, summer meals, global nutrition, and international development programs at risk of deep cuts.
  • Budgets are moral documents that define our nation’s priorities and reflect who we are as a country. The House budget would increase hunger and poverty in the U.S. and around the world and should be rejected.

For more information on this issue:

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


August Recess

Members of Congress have returned to their home states and districts for August recess to hear from constituents. The month-long work period is a great opportunity to reach out to your elected officials and talk about hunger and the budget. With the fiscal year 2018 budget negotiations heating up, what lawmakers hear from constituents in August this month will impact the decisions they make this fall. It’s not too late to influence your lawmakers. Here are some ideas on how you can get involved:

  • Coordinate an in-district drop-off of your Offering of Letters. Call the office ahead of time and let them know you are coming. For in-district meetings, download Talking Points, Preparing for Pushback, and find additional resources in the grassroots tool kit at the bottom of this page.
  • Attend a town hall or other public event and ask your member to oppose budget cuts that would increase hunger and poverty. Call your members in-district office to find out what events your member has scheduled in August.
  • Write a letter to the editor or op-ed to your local newspaper encouraging your member of Congress to pass a fiscal year 2018 budget that sets us on track to end hunger. For help and a sample LTE, contact organizing@bread.org.


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.

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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Over 400 hundred members of Bread for the World met in Washington DC for the annual lobby day. Photo: Joe Molieri / Bread for the World

Activists in Action

Making an August Impact

Bread members are taking the opportunity during the August recess to talk to their members of Congress about hunger and the fiscal year 2018 budget. In the process, they are also getting to know their members of Congress in more personal terms.

Earlier this month, a group from Illinois met with U.S. Rep. Mike Bost (R-12). During a 70-minute conversation with Bost, Rev. Brian Robison, Don Baden, Karen Wilson, Debbie Neustadt, and Rev. Ronald Neustadt found areas of both common ground and respectful disagreement with the congressman.

A topic of discussion was the federal budget. If passed, the proposed House budget resolution would cut $150 million from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

In 2015, 44,419 households in Bost’s district made use of SNAP benefits to help feed their families.  However, those benefits do not suffice and many families reach out to food banks and church pantries by the end of the month to fill in the gap.

Bost told the team that he thought churches have not been doing enough to help hungry people, and if churches were doing what they were supposed to be doing, the federal programs would not be necessary. The team responded that caring for others is a human responsibility, and not just the responsibility of churches.

Churches are doing their part. However, they can’t do it alone. The federal government needs to do its part too. One out 20 bags of food assistance already comes from churches and other charitable organizations.

Domestic hunger was not the only concern the Illinois team discussed. In fact, Rev. Neustadt said the group brought Bost a gift of fairly traded coffee, “a reminder of our concern for hungry people and small farmers everywhere who struggle to feed their families.”

They thanked Bost for his support of the Global Food Security Act — legislation that supports global agriculture and food security.  However, the current famine conditions that are putting 20 million people at risk of starvation calls for a more urgent response. Protecting lifesaving foreign aid from funding cuts is a good place to start.

Team members told Bost that improving food aid would maximize efficiencies, getting more of the aid to those in need. Bost said that was something he would look into. “He seemed to be attracted to the idea of more efficient use of American tax dollars,” Rev. Neustadt said.

By sitting down with their congressman, the Illinois team was not only able to share with him the hunger issues they deeply care about; they also got a better sense of their member of Congress as a person.

“He shared a little of his family life and background and of his concern for his parents,” Rev. Neustadt said. “It was also apparent to us that he has a very difficult job and that it weighs on him.”

Ending hunger will take everyone: churches, government, and the private sector.  But to begin, we must start with a conversation and continue to urge our members of Congress to set us on a path to get there.

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.

  • The Impacts of Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Cuts on the Latino Community

    To end hunger and poverty in the United States by 2030, our country needs to support a budget that improves the lives of men, women, and children. Unfortunately, the Trump administration and Congress are proposing dramatic cuts to programs that promote economic opportunity or provide food...

  • The Dream Act of 2017 (S. 1615 & H.R. 3440)

    Overview

    The United States is a nation of immigrants. Throughout its history, people have moved here from all over the world and have contributed to their communities and our national life. Today, as in the past, immigrants are also creating prosperity for this nation. 

    ...

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.

    ...

  • The State of Black Poverty: A Pan-African Millennial Perspective on Ending Hunger by 2030

    Over the past year and a half, about two-dozen young adults from the United States and countries in Africa and the Caribbean, have gathered virtually and in person to reflect on the effects of hunger and poverty in black communities. The working group has been considering socio-political and...

  • Fact Sheet: The Hunger-Medicaid Connection

    Congress is considering proposals that would jeopardize healthcare coverage for millions of poor and near-poor adults and children. 

    Legislation under consideration in the House and Senate would gut...