A difference that adds to my experience

Bread activists from Alabama visit with Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), fourth from left. Bread for the World photo.

By Elizabeth Haberstroh

I may seem out of place, but I am a math major interning for a social-impact nonprofit, and Bread’s Lobby Day reassured me that I am exactly where I belong this summer.

My sixth day as an intern at Bread for the World found me at 7:45 a.m. at Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church, where I began a full day of meeting and greeting, speaking, and advocating on behalf of hungry and poor people.

A church full of Bread’s nationwide family united through music and inspiring speakers such as Roger Thurow, author and former foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. We focused our attention on the importance of the 1,000 days between a mother’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday, the effects of early-age malnutrition such as mental and physical stunting, the need to invest in mothers and children, and prayer for the long day ahead of us on Capitol Hill.

Our mission for the day was to ask the Senate to invest $230 million in global nutrition and ask the House to pass the Global Food Security Act of 2016 and oppose H.R. 5003, the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016. This last act would fund school meals through block grants to the states, effectively preventing potentially millions of children from getting school breakfasts, lunches, and summer meals.

Equipped with determination and a mission to see an end to hunger worldwide, we divided into our constituent groups to discuss tactics for our advocacy while meeting with our senators and representatives. I was amazed and inspired by my fellow advocates in our group of Alabamian constituents. I was blessed to have had a diverse group of first-timers on Lobby Day and also some knowledgeable warriors of advocacy.

I was nervous and intimidated stepping into the first few offices of our members of Congress, but under the guide of my group I became empowered and realized that we as constituents have the power to really make change through our words and actions on the Hill. Our group also had a very special blessing; we were joined by former U.S. representative from Alabama Spencer Bachus.

It was amazing to witness the power and effectiveness of bipartisanship cooperation. We were met with open ears in most of our offices, gathered either around a large conference table or casually sitting in chairs and couches with representatives in their office. While receiving some push-back from a couple offices, I fully feel that we made a difference.

Help push the Global Food Security Act over the finish line! Contact your representative by phone (800-826-3688) or email. Urge him/her to support final passage of the Global Food Security Act of 2016 (S. 1252). 

Elizabeth Haberstroh is a development and membership intern at Bread for the World.


Related Resources