Organize Your Community

At the heart of Bread for the World are thousands of advocates at the grassroots across the country who take action. They communicate with their members of Congress on legislation that affects people who are hungry and poor. Through letters, emails, phone calls, and in-person visits, they tell their elected officials in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that ending hunger is important. When they speak and urge decision makers in the government to take specific actions, they listen.

Part of Bread’s mission is to bring together people of faith and other concerned individuals to be a collective voice advocating for a world without hunger. When we speak together, we are stronger, and we are heard more. This means that organizing ourselves to speak as a unified voice is important. Targeting our message and being intentional about our advocacy is key to being a collective voice.

In addition to your actions as an individual, you can play an important role in Bread’s advocacy by involving and organizing others — your friends, your community, and others in your congressional district or state.

The work of organizing is described by one community organizer for Bread as working together, and he says, "We can do this via networking and coalition-building.” Some of the ways he does this is empowering other people to advocate, attending in-district meetings and town hall forums with members of Congress, organizing Offering of Letters workshops, and writing a blog that educates and inspires advocates.

Scriptures speak to the role and responsibility of leaders in caring for poor people (Psalm 72; Jeremiah 22; Proverbs 31:8-9). Photo: Laura Pohl/Bread for the World

Organizing Your Community

Here are some simple steps:

  1. Identify people who can help you grow Bread — leaders, people with influence, well-connected people, and people with energy and passion.
  2. Set up 1-on-1 relational meetings with these people. Listen to their stories, and ask about their passions. Share your personal story, why ending hunger matters to you, and how Bread advocacy is important to you in realizing that goal.
  3. Host small groups to share Bread resources and stories of people who face hunger. Plan some action steps.
  4. Form Bread Teams of people willing to engage in hunger advocacy.

Approach advocacy as an ongoing “campaign,” rather than a one-and-done event, but not something that calls for too many meetings.

Tips for larger gatherings and events:

  • Make gatherings fun and meaningful.
  • Use visuals rather than just speaking.
  • Emphasize success stories rather than the problem of poverty.
  • Guest speakers can lend either expertise or a fresh voice to the process.
Bread for the World’s work in organizing communities and individuals to speak up about hunger and poverty gets results! Photo: Laura Pohl / Bread for the World

Contact Us

Contact your Bread regional organizer for more advice and to connect with other Bread members and advocates in your area.

"You have withheld bread from the hungry."

Job 22:7

Video

Ending Hunger

May 1, 2015

Leave a Legacy of Hope

Video - running time: 4:55

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

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.

  • 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...

  • 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.
     

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.

Field

Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017

Insight

From the Blog