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.

Welcome to the Activist Corner.  We update this page regularly with the latest information, tools, and resources, so make sure to visit weekly. Photo: 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.
  • The House Budget Committee continues to debate a budget proposal behind closed doors that is expected to include major tax cuts, increased funding for defense appropriations, and at least $200 billion in fast-tracked cuts to low-income programs. Mandatory programs on the chopping block include SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), TANF, and Medicaid. We expect a draft proposal to be released soon.

For more information on this issue:

Medicaid

  • Call (800-826-3688) or email your U.S. senators and urge them to vote NO on any legislation that cuts, rolls back, or repeals Medicaid.
  • In May, the House passed the American Health Care Act, which will increase hunger and poverty. The Senate was expected to vote on its version of a health care bill this week, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), but the vote was initially delayed due to Sen. John McCain’s eye surgery. However, with at least four Republican senators now in opposition to the legislation, the BCRA will not be voted on at all.
  • The BCRA would put millions of lives at risk, cutting Medicaid by $772 billion and rolling back the Medicaid expansion. The BCRA would take that access away from more than 15 million of the most vulnerable Americans who depend on it.
  • Senate leadership is now regrouping and considering a vote on a bill that only repeals the Affordable Care Act. The bill would not include a replacement plan. The bill would likely delay the implementation of the repeal for at least two years to allow for a replacement plan to be written.

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 return to their home states and districts in August to hear from constituents. With the fiscal year 2018 budget negotiations heating up, what lawmakers hear from constituents in August will impact the decisions they make. Your senators and representative host in-district events, such as town halls and listening sessions. Check with your member’s office for events you can attend. The month-long work period is a great opportunity to reach out to your elected officials and talk about hunger and the budget. You can even help facilitate a meeting or site visit, but you have to start planning early. 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.


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, July 18 at 4 p.m. EDT

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

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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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Bread for the World's 2017 Lobby Day opening worship service at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, June 13, 2017. Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl for Bread for the World

Activists in Action

Putting a human face on policy

When Christine Tamara traveled to Washington, D.C., in June for Bread for the World’s annual Lobby Day, she may not have realized she was carrying valuable information that her U.S. Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.-42) needed.

Tamara understands  the needs her Orange County community faces by the number of people who visit her church’s food pantry. She has local knowledge and she has a story to tell.

That type of “on the ground” information  is something your members of Congress want, but don’t always get.  According to the Congressional Management Foundation’s  most recent report, Citizen-Centric Advocacy: The Untapped Power of Constituent Engagement, the three most valuable pieces of information  a constituent can provide their member of Congress is:

  • The number of constituents affected by a particular policy decision;
  • The estimated economic impact on a community;
  • A story about how a constituent’s life has been changed by a new law or would be changed by proposed policy.

Stories about government-funded programs that help end hunger are especially needed as Congress negotiates the fiscal year 2018 budget.

Bread expects the House budget resolution to be released soon and to propose major tax cuts, increased funding for defense appropriations, and $200 billion in fast-tracked mandatory spending cuts. Those cuts would likely come from programs, such as SNAP (formerly known as food stamps), TANF, and Medicaid.

Churches, like the one Tamara belong to, are doing their part to alleviate need in their community, but they need  government to do its  part too.

Churches do not have enough capacity or financial reserves to fill in the gap left behind by deep cuts to the safety net.

“I have personally met parents from my children’s school that have shared how both parents are working and still find it challenging to provide plenty of food for their growing children,” she said.

The decisions made in Calvert’s Washington D.C., office have far-reaching consequences on the other side of the United States  in the California district he represents. Tamara used her story to convey why she wanted Calvert’s office to support policies that decrease hunger and poverty.

“I also added how I see with my own eyes young children walking to and from school, at too early of an age, all by themselves because mom and dad have to work to provide shelter and food which unfortunately leads them unattended,” Tamara said.

She added: “This for me hits a very sore nerve because I think that as parents we should have the opportunity, the privilege, and the right to care for our children physically, spiritually, and emotionally without having to compromise their well being.”

With August recess just around the corner, many Bread members are setting up in-district meetings or attending local events with lawmakers.  Anti-hunger advocates have a role to play in the funding decisions that their members of Congress make in the budget.  Like Tamara, we are all experts in our own community and can put a human face on policy.

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 U.S. Contribution to Ending Global Malnutrition

    We have a new opportunity in 2017 to speed up global progress against malnutrition among pregnant women and young children. Worldwide, maternal and child malnutrition causes millions of deaths each year. In some countries, it holds entire generations back from reaching their economic potential....

  • Fact Sheet: Nutrition During Famine

    Famine means that 20 percent or more of the households in an area have “an extreme lack of food and other basic needs where starvation, death, and destitution are evident.”

    Famine has been declared in two counties of South Sudan, while other areas of South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia, and...

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...