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Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World has launched its annual Offering of Letters campaign. The campaign encourages churches and other groups to write letters to Congress to protect programs that help people struggling with hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world.
The launch falls as the Trump administration has released its fiscal year 2019 budget.
“As we saw in the president’s budget proposal, programs that provide help and opportunity to people in need are under threat in Washington,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Through the Offering of Letters, tens of thousands of faithful advocates will call upon Congress to maintain funding for programs that help hungry and poor people in our country and around the world.”
President Trump’s budget would make massive cuts to programs that help people experiencing hunger and poverty, including domestic nutrition programs such as SNAP and aid to countries on the brink of famine.
“Budget cuts are now the biggest threat to people struggling with hunger and poverty,” Beckmann said.
The name of the letter-writing campaign, “For Such a Time as This,” references Esther from the Old Testament – who saved her people from destruction through advocacy (Esther 4).
During an Offering of Letters, participants write letters, usually as a group, and present them as an offering to God before mailing them to Congress. Hundreds of Offerings of Letters campaigns are held each year across the country, resulting in hundreds of thousands of hand-written letters and personalized emails to Congress.
“Just as Queen Esther from the Bible was called to stand up and advocate on behalf of her people, we are called to stand up and advocate for families who are struggling now,” Beckmann said.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
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Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition in the fiscal year 2020 budget.
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.