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Sample Letter to Congress

Why Handwritten Letters?

Because they work. Research from the Congressional Management Foundation confirms that handwritten, mailed letters are still the best way to communicate with your members of Congress.

In fact, 96 percent of Capitol Hill staff reported in a survey that if their member of Congress had not reached a decision on an issue, personalized letters would influence his or her position.

Personalized emails can also be effective, but congressional offices experience large amounts of email and sometimes lack the additional staff to handle the volume and evaluate the email’s authenticity.

Handwritten letters from constituents of members of Congress are always read and logged.

Sample Letter

Date ___________

Dear Sen. __________ or Rep. _______________,

As Congress and the Super Committee work to reduce our nation’s deficits, I urge you to create a circle of protection around programs for hungry and poor people in the United States and around the world.

The numbers are staggering. Millions of families in the United States continue to feel the effects of the recession—nearly one in six people in our country are poor. Around the world, nearly 1 billion people are hungry, and one child dies every 3.6 seconds from poverty, hunger, and preventable diseases. This isn’t the time for Congress to cut programs that provide vital assistance to those in need.

Programs for hungry and poor people make up only a fraction of the federal budget, but they have a tremendous impact. The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit keep millions of families out of poverty, reward work, and promote economic mobility. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) has responded quickly and effectively to need, preventing an increase in the percentage of families struggling to put food on the table for three consecutive years.

International poverty-focused development assistance reduces the likelihood of conflict and strengthens our national security. Moreover, cuts to poverty-focused development assistance will restrict our ability to respond to humanitarian emergencies, such as the ongoing famine in the Horn of Africa.

We must do all we can to reduce the budget deficit but not on the backs of the most vulnerable people. As you consider deficit-reduction proposals, I ask you to take a balanced and fair approach and consider all areas of the budget, including revenues. Please form a circle of protection around funding for hungry and poor people at home and abroad.


Your Name
Your Address

Download sample letter

Four Simple Steps

1. Write your name and address at the end of your letter AND on the envelope, so your members of Congress know you are one of the people they represent.

2. Ask for specific action, using this sentence or your own words:

I ask you to reform foreign aid to make it more effective in reducing poverty.

3. Give reasons why. Some examples:

  • Share your personal story about what motivates you to write. Letters with personal stories are the most compelling and effective.
  • My church is already helping by [example], but I also expect my country to take the lead in combating global poverty.

Look Up Your Representatives

4. Send your letter to Congress. 

Put each letter in a separate envelope and address it. Send your letter to:

your U.S. senators
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

your U.S. representative
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Because of security procedures, your letter may take two to four weeks to reach Congress, so please plan accordingly.

Your letters will make an important difference for people who are hungry and poor.

Read more about Bread for the World's campaign to reform U.S. foreign assistance.

The 2011 Offering of Letters

The 2011 campaign will continue to push Congress and the administration toward U.S. foreign assistance that is more effective in reducing global poverty.

Read more »

Questions and Answers

The recession is hitting our nation hard. Shouldn’t we help hurting people here first? As Christians, we believe our government should support the efforts of poor people—wherever they live—to move out of poverty.

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Contact Your Regional Organizer

Bread for the World organizers can provide you with resources for anti-hunger advocacy. Learn more about what your organizer can do for you. And find out about events in your local community.

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