Advocating for Change

Bread for the World’s work in organizing communities and individuals to speak up about hunger and poverty gets results!

Advocacy is hard work, and sometimes the victories do not come right away. But Bread has been doing advocacy for decades and has the expertise, experience, and track record for bringing hope and opportunity to people in the U.S. and abroad.

Our first victory more than 40 years ago laid important groundwork that we’ve built on ever since. In 1975, the year after Bread was founded, Congress passed the Right to Food Resolution. It declared that everyone has a right to food, and it was the most sweeping statement on hunger Congress has ever made.

Bread’s victories often have lasting effects and set policy and funding that benefit people for years. Photo: UN / Kibae Park

Some recent wins include:

2016

Congress passed the bipartisan Global Food Security Act in early July. This legislation authorizes U.S.-led, long-term solutions for small farmers so that they'll be able to feed their families and communities for years to come. Bread had marshalled all of its resources and advocacted before Congress for its passage for more than a year.

Also in early July, Congress passed the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act. Bread strongly supported this bipartisan legislation, which will codify important reforms to ensure that U.S. government agencies carrying out foreign assistance are focused on rigorous and consistent monitoring and evaluation of programs and on making comprehensive, timely, and comparable aid data publicly available. By reinforcing its existing commitments to transparency and evaluation through legislation, the U.S. government can better track, measure, and allocate scarce aid resources. Bread had been working on making U.S. foreign assistance more accountable for nearly a decade, and foreign-assistance reform was the focus of Bread’s 2008 and 2009 Offering of Letters campaigns.

2015

Key provisions of the earned income and child tax credits became permanent. This is a victory for low-income workers and will prevent 16 million people — including 8 million children — from falling into or deeper into poverty.

Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which prevents most of the sequestration cuts for 2016 and 2017 from taking place.

Increase of $1.1 billion in poverty-focused development assistance.

$10 million increase in funding for global nutrition programs.

Halted passage of a provision in that would have taken away $75 million of food-aid funds and reduced the reach of food-aid programs by 2 million people annually.

The African Growth and Opportunity Act was extended for 10 more years. It expands U.S. technical assistance aimed at businesses that engage women and smallholder farmers.

2014

More funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Head Start.

2012-2014

Proposed cuts to programs for low-income families were reduced from $3 trillion to less than $50 billion in cuts.

2012

Extended tax credits have helped 13 million low-income working families.

2000

Bread led the legislative coalition that won debt relief for poor countries.

 

Bread’s victories often have lasting effects and set policy and funding that benefit people for years.

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

Ongoing involvement in a variety of issues:

Children

Children are often hit hardest when it comes to hunger. Bread has always been committed to strengthening programs that provide children to the meals and nutrition they need. Over the years, we’ve helped secure better nutrition, increased access to meals, clearer nutrition guidelines, and increased funding for programs like WIC and those for school breakfasts and lunches and summer feeding.

SNAP

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly called food stamps) is the primary way our government helps American families put food on the table when budgets are tight. Bread has successfully supported improvements and reforms to SNAP over the years. These changes allow the program to do exactly it was designed to do: be a safety net for families in times of need.

International

Bread has always held a concern about hunger both at home and abroad. Its advocacy on international hunger has helped developing countries adopt better farming practices. It has pushed our government to provide smarter foreign aid and emergency food. Our goal is for the U.S. to be a partner in helping other countries to become self-reliant. We do this by advocating for common sense programs with a proven track record so that U.S. tax dollars are spent wisely.

Tax Credits

When it comes to mechanisms that fight hunger, you might not think of the earned income tax credit (EITC) and the child tax credit (CTC). But these measures are proven to be the most successful at moving American families out of poverty. Supporting programs like these, which help families feed themselves, is an important part of working toward our mission to end hunger.

Tammanna Akter and Joy in Barisal, Bangladesh. Photo by Laura Pohl / Bread for the World

New issues

We’re constantly assessing where we can have the most impact with our advocacy. Some new issues we’ve started to address are immigration and mass incarceration as they relate to hunger and poverty. To find out more about our current issues, check out the Bread Blog and the Offering of Letters.

"In the contemporary United States, few can rival the voice and energy of Bread for the World…”

World Bank Report

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.