Bread for the World Launches Campaign to Protect Anti-Poverty Programs During Election Year

Jan 17, 2012, 08:05 ET from Bread for the World

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bread for the World today launched its 2012 Offering of Letters campaign to urge Congress this crucial year to create a circle of protection around programs vital to hungry and poor people.

"We thank God that the deficit-reduction decisions Congress and the president made in 2011 avoided most of the proposed deep cuts in programs that help struggling families make ends meet," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "Since 2012 is an election year, Congress is even more focused on cutting federal spending, and many programs for hungry and poor people are being targeted. We will have to work much harder to protect the gains we have made and ensure that anti-poverty programs are not sacrificed to meet political needs."

Through visits, phone calls, and personal letters and emails, Bread for the World activists and other people of faith were successful in keeping the needs of vulnerable people before Congress. Some of the victories include preventing deep cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), food assistance to poor senior citizens, school feeding programs in developing countries, and emergency food aid.

Bread for the World's 2012 Offering of Letters urges members of Congress to create a circle of protection around programs that give hungry and poor people in this country and abroad the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty. Within this broader campaign are four mini-campaigns that address specific legislative topics that will come before Congress in 2012: nutrition, poverty-focused development assistance, tax policy, and food aid.

"The materials we have developed for the 2012 Offering of Letters are wonderful resources for activists and other people of faith who want to protect the world's most vulnerable people," added Beckmann. Materials include a handbook, videos, instructions on how to plan an Offering of Letters, and stories of people struggling to lift themselves out of poverty.

Thousands of churches representing nearly 50 diverse Christian denominations throughout the United States will participate in Bread for the World's 2012 Offering of Letters campaign. As part of a worship service or Mass, Christians will write letters to their members of Congress in support of legislation that will benefit hungry and poor people. Instead of money, these letters are placed in offering plates and dedicated to God. Bread for the World members generate hundreds of thousands of letters to Congress every year.

Bread for the World's Offering of Letters materials are available online at

Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision-makers to end hunger at home and abroad.


SOURCE Bread for the World