So you went to Washington for Bread for the World’s Lobby Day. (Three from First Pres, one from Bridgeport and one from Cameroon did go.) Does this matter? In a word, “Yes!” There is a continuing, often vicious battle going on in our government over how our nation provides justice to people. You knew that already. That matters greatly. But along with that, and less well known, is that important bi-partisan work is being accomplished. You can make a difference and help move things along.
Here’s how. Sunday, June 19th, after worship we’re hoping you will join others in writing our elected Senators and Representatives about issues of nutrition and family well being. A variety of detailed materials follow. If like me, you prefer to write in a quite place, please do so and bring your letter to church that Sunday. Of course, all the supplies will be at church. If it makes more sense just to mail directly, please be sure you let Brian Gray or Nancy Rupp know you wrote and to whom you sent letters.
Here is some material that might help you write your 2016 Bread for the World Letter
Here are the key issues.
For our REPRESENTATIVES (see talking points below for more details):
Do not let H. R. 5003 come to the House floor for a vote. This bill would seriously jeopardize nutrition support for U. S. children via block grants (that cap funding and reward states for doing less for people) and other bureaucratic hurdles.
If you can only write one letter written, this is the one to do!
The House Republican budget proposal would seriously compromise most of the several programs that have proven effective in response to poverty. Our electeds need to hear that that is NOT what their constituents want.
Pass S. 1252, the Global Food Security Act. This long term, bi-partisan effort would make permanent programs that have proven effective.
For our SENATORS (a talking points sheet follows):
We need them to appropriate $230 million in the State Foreign Operations budget for global nutrition programs that help mothers and children survive and thrive. Every $1 so spent results in $18 in gains in productivity and decreased healthcare costs.
Philippe Ambata, Nancy’s guest from Cameroon reported 60% of his country’s people are impoverished and food insecure, giving direct urgency to our work.
Congress needs to pass a strong child nutrition bill. The Senate “Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act” while not everything we need, is a good step. 20% of U. S. children live at risk of hunger. Only one out of six eligible children get summer meals. As explained below, the House version (H.R. 5003) will increase childhood hunger.
Remember that ALL our Senators and Representatives already understand these realities and challenges. They want to do the right thing. Be sure to thank them for their long days and hard work! We can help them most by showing we are aware and we care. That’s a message they can share with other electeds who don’t yet “get it.”
Be sure your reply information is on your letter, not just your envelope. Hand written is best, unless, as it would be in my case, that would be illegible. Email is generally seen as less personal and less effective. But email is better than not communicating at all!
Tell your own story —
What you believe. Why this matters to you!
Our electeds know facts. They need to hear your passion.
Remember — we CAN help our electeds make a difference.
Do you know others who care about this? Especially if their electeds are less engaged with hunger, invite them to this resource. Encourage them to write!
List of RESOURCES
The Talking Points for Representatives and for Senators may be all the information you need. The rest allows you to dig deeper.
- Addresses for Connecticut’s electeds
- Talking Points for Representatives
- Oppose H. R. 5003
- Global Food Security
- Representative DeLauro information
- Representative Himes information
- Analysis by Rep. DeLauro’s office of 2017 House Budget proposal
- Talking Points for Senators
- Global Nutrition facts
- Letter co-signed by CT Senators
- Senator Blumenthal information
- Senator Murphy information
- Welfare Reform and the Safety Net — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- House GOP Vows to Fight Poverty, but… – Center on Budget and Policy Priorities