February 13, 2018

Churches Across the U.S. to Urge Congress to Protect Anti-Hunger and Anti-Poverty Programs

Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World has launched its annual Offering of Letters campaign. The campaign encourages churches and other groups to write letters to Congress to protect programs that help people struggling with hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world.

The launch falls as the Trump administration has released its fiscal year 2019 budget.

“As we saw in the president’s budget proposal, programs that provide help and opportunity to people in need are under threat in Washington,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Through the Offering of Letters, tens of thousands of faithful advocates will call upon Congress to maintain funding for programs that help hungry and poor people in our country and around the world.”  

President Trump’s budget would make massive cuts to programs that help people experiencing hunger and poverty, including domestic nutrition programs such as SNAP and aid to countries on the brink of famine.

“Budget cuts are now the biggest threat to people struggling with hunger and poverty,” Beckmann said.

The name of the letter-writing campaign, “For Such a Time as This,” references Esther from the Old Testament – who saved her people from destruction through advocacy (Esther 4).

During an Offering of Letters, participants write letters, usually as a group, and present them as an offering to God before mailing them to Congress. Hundreds of Offerings of Letters campaigns are held each year across the country, resulting in hundreds of thousands of hand-written letters and personalized emails to Congress.

“Just as Queen Esther from the Bible was called to stand up and advocate on behalf of her people, we are called to stand up and advocate for families who are struggling now,” Beckmann said.

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.

  • Mass Incarceration: A Major Cause of Hunger

    Mass incarceration has far-reaching effects in the United States. It poses a significant barrier to ending U.S. hunger and poverty by 2030—a goal the United States adopted in 2015. But the connection is not always obvious.

  • Advancing Nutrition through Food Aid Reform

    The United States has long been a global leader in responding to humanitarian emergencies. Food assistance that includes nutritious food for pregnant women and young children is both a life-and-death matter for individuals and an economic imperative for countries.

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.


  • 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...

  • Health Care Is a Hunger Issue

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