Get the 2018 Offering of Letters Toolkit

As part of its year-long campaign every year on a specific topic, Bread for the World urges elected leaders in Washington, D.C., to enable people in our nation and our world to feed their families and move out of poverty. The Offering of Letters campaign is the main way Bread engages people in churches and other faith communities in advocacy with their members of Congress.

If you are a member or leader of a church or faith community, you are invited to organize an Offering of Letters — an event at which people in your congregation, campus, or group sit down together to write to members of Congress on a specific issue. An Offering of Letters is an effective tool that enables citizens and residents of our country to make their voices heard and that helps shape our government's response to hunger. If you've already held your Offering of Letters, you can report your results here.

From this page you can download Offering of Letters materials — a toolkit that will help you organize a local Offering of Letters. Selected printed materials can be ordered from the Bread Store.

Contents of the Toolkit

  • An Invitation From David Beckmann: Tell Congress to End Hunger
    I invite you to join me and thousands of Bread for the World members and friends across the country in working to make sure that no one is forced to go to bed hungry in the United States or around the world.
  • Overview of This Year's Topic
    Every day, millions of people in the United States and around the world feed and support their families in part because of lifesaving programs funded by our government. We are making progress toward the end of hunger, but we live in challenging times. Our gains are increasingly vulnerable due to the actions and inactions of governing officials.
  • Questions and Answers About the Campaign
    When is the best time to write Congress about hunger and poverty issues? Personal letters and emails to Congress are always welcome and effective. Congress develops budget and spending bills throughout the year with final resolution occurring sometime in the fall.
  • A Biblical Reflection for Such a Time as This
    In the relationship between God and God's people, it is clear that God not only cares for us, but cares how we treat one another. Throughout the Bible, we find examples of how God's people promote the common good and speak up for what is right.
  • Prayers and Litany for an Offering of Letters
    Our great democracy gives all Americans access to powerful decision makers. We are all like Esther in the Old Testament. Just as Esther was called to be an advocate with the king of Persia for her threatened people, we are called to raise our voices to urge our leaders in Congress to protect programs for people who struggle with hunger.
  • Guide to Conducting an Offering of Letters
    Whether you are new to letter-writing or are experienced in organizing people to speak out to our leaders in Washington, D.C., this “how-to" section of the toolkit will help you prepare for an Offering of Letters. Setting up an Offering of Letters event is doable. It doesn't take as much time as you might expect, and you will find that it enriches your faith experience.
  • PowerPoint Presentation for Introducing the Offering of Letters
    This PowerPoint presentation will help you introduce the Offering of Letters campaign to your church, campus, or group. Use this presentation to support the way YOU want to present Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters. Feel free to add or remove slides as you like.
  • Advocacy 101
    This resource provides an explanation of how Bread for the World carries out its advocacy with Congress. It explains the legislative process at the federal level and how Bread activists, as constituents of their federal representatives, can engage at various points in the process.
  • Sample Letter to Congress
    Your messages to Congress will push legislators to make funding decisions that can jump start and accelerate progress against hunger. Writing a personal message is simple and should take only a few minutes.
  • Facts on Hunger and Poverty in the United States and Internationally
    In 2016, U.S. poverty and food insecurity rates continued to decline, while both median household income and health insurance coverage increased. However, far too many of our neighbors continue to struggle to buy nutritious food and secure steady jobs with livable wages.
  • Real-Life Story: Food Assistance As a Lifeline
    Stephanie Rice, the mother of four boys ages 3 to 10 in Ohio, knows a thing or two about juggling multiple jobs. Aside from being a full-time mom, she also home-schools her sons, and this fall returned to college for the first time since having her children. It's a feat of time management, to be sure. But Stephanie and her husband have always had to employ sharp planning skills as they raised their family on modest wages.
  • Real-Life Story: When There is Peace, There is Food
    Despite its oil wealth, South Sudan is among the world's poorest countries, where 8 out of 10 people live on less than $1 a day and millions are facing famine due to drought and war. "Bullets and guns will not restore South Sudan," says Bishop Joseph Garang Atem, Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Renk. “We have thousands of acres of fertile land, but we need help to cultivate them and grow our own food."
  • Victories from Recent Offerings of Letters
    Despite threats to poverty-focused development assistance funding, the 2017 Offering of Letters was victorious in securing $1 billion in supplemental aid for near-famines in Somalia, Yemen, South Sudan, and northeastern Nigeria. Although the situation in all four countries remains dire, the additional funds have provided relief in time of extreme need and crises.
  • Bulletin Insert
    Each year, thousands of churches from many different faith traditions take part in the Offering of Letters. Promote your event and help participants learn about the issues through announcements (spoken and in the bulletin), newsletters, and social media.
  • Campaign Poster
    The actions that Congress takes have far-reaching impact on the lives of millions of people in the United States and around the world living in hunger. The poster includes a campaign overview in English and Spanish and space for information about your Offering of Letters.

Report the Results of Your Offering of Letters

We use your feedback to follow up with members of Congress and measure the impact of this campaign, as well as in the planning of future campaigns. Complete your report.

Tools
from our Resource Library

For Education

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.

    ...

  • Fact Sheet: Hunger by the Numbers

    In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.

  • U.S. Hunger and Poverty State Fact Sheets

    These fact sheets provide a snapshot of hunger and poverty in the United States and in each state plus Washington, D.C. 

Field

Changing Climate, Changing Farmers

February 7, 2017

Insight

April 10, 2018

The Jobs Challenge

From the Blog