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.

Bread staff and members prepare to lobby their members of Congress on behalf of people experiencing hunger. Photo: Bread for the World

Act Now

2017 Offering of Letters: Budget and Appropriations

  • Call (800-826-3688) or email your members of Congress and urge them to protect funding for critical anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs in the fiscal year 2018 spending bill.
  • Congress passed a continuing resolution last week that will keep the government funded through Dec. 22. Lawmakers must agree on funding levels through Sept. 30, 2018. At stake is funding for vital anti-hunger programs, such as WIC, international development assistance, and global nutrition.

For more information on this issue:

Tax Reform

  • Call (800-826-3688) your senators and thank them if they voted against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or let them know you are disappointed if they voted for the legislation. See how your member voted.
  • The legislation, which includes $1.4 trillion in tax cuts, increases the likelihood of deep cuts to vital safety-net programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, and humanitarian assistance. Because the House and Senate versions differ, lawmakers will now reconcile the differences through a conference process. Tax policy should help, not disproportionally hurt low-income families and individuals.

For more information on this issue:

Watch for action alerts. For additional talking points, contact organizing@bread.org or call 800-822-7323.


Schedule your letter-writing event

Your letters are still important. Please continue writing your members of Congress, urging them to protect funding for critical anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs. The 2017 Offering of Letters: Doing Our Part to End Hunger is available in English and Spanish and includes a sample letter to Congress.


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, Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. EDT

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

Register for the Webinar    Watch past webinars


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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David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World

Activists in Action

Building the movement to end hunger in Iowa

Bread leaders know that to build the political will to end hunger, we need to grow our grassroots base. When enough constituents in a state or district speak in unison, their lawmakers—who often have re-election foremost on their minds—listen and respond.  To increase those constituent voices, leaders need to start at home.

In October, Iowa leaders Rev. Russell Melby and Stephen Panther used the World Food Prize event, which takes place each year in Des Moines, and a visit from Bread’s president, Rev. David Beckmann, as an opportunity to build an Iowa Bread team. To do so, they coordinated a house meeting.

A house meeting is a gathering of people for the purpose of building relationships, identifying common concerns, and stimulating interest in further involvement.  Sixty-five people came to the meeting held at St. James Lutheran in Johnston, Iowa.

“We thought we could piggyback off the World Food Prize event,” Melby said. “The house meeting created an environment to meet new people who were interested in ending hunger. Once we understood more of what they wanted, we could give them a place to plug in and affect change.”

Unlike a presentation, where speakers talk at an audience, house meetings are interactive and use shared stories as a way to identify interest and further engagement.

Matt Gross, interim co-director of organizing at Bread for the World, says house meetings are an effective way to grow Bread for the World. “People trust people,” he said.  “Think about it: Many of us got involved in social justice because we had a passionate and committed friend who invited us to join them in this work.”

The meeting at St. James Lutheran began with a 20-minute speech by Beckmann and then the 65 participants broke into smaller groups and were given prompts—such as ‘why did you come’—to start conversations.

Gross said smaller groups are sometimes better but it depends on the circumstance.  ‘The key elements of a house meeting are providing next steps—action people can take, like organizing an in-district meeting—and then following up,” he said.

Melby and Panther are now having one-on-one conversations with the participants.  They will host a conference call at the end of the year with everyone who wants to engage further.  The goal of that call will be to plan a collective action in 2018 that can influence their members of Congress around hunger issues.

Bread for the World is founded on the idea that we are more powerful together.  We have won victories for poor and hungry people in our 40 years of existence because people acted for a common cause.  We must increase our numbers as we face a challenging future in our quest to end hunger and there is no better place to start than at home.

If you are interested in learning more about house meetings, contact your organizer or email organizing@bread.org.

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

For Faith

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.

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