A victory, and one last push to get SNAP in the headlines

July 2, 2018
by Colin Smith, Director of Communications

Last week, the Senate passed a bipartisan farm bill that protects SNAP (formerly food stamps).

This is great news, thanks in no small part to YOUR hard work. You’ve been calling and writing to your members of Congress, making it clear again and again that cuts to SNAP are unacceptable.

But it’s not over yet. Now the Senate and House have to come together and agree on the final legislation.

Will you send a letter to the editor urging your lawmakers to support a bipartisan farm bill that protects SNAP?

You may recall that the House passed a farm bill that does not protect SNAP – in fact, the House bill proposed draconian requirements that would result in people not being able to feed their families. We must make sure these proposals don’t make it into the final farm bill.

Last week’s victory is a testament not just to your advocacy this spring, but to the years that you’ve stood up to defend SNAP. And for years, members of Congress have come together in a bipartisan way on the farm bill to make sure people still have enough to eat. That can’t stop now.

Every morning, congressional staff pore over the local paper, clipping anything that mentions the name of their boss. So this week when your member of Congress gets to the office, what’s going to be sitting on their desk? If you take a few minutes to write today, it could be your letter to the editor.


Media tips:

  1. Make it personal. Members of Congress aren’t looking for form letters — they’re looking to really hear from their constituents. That’s you! Make sure you tell them why you care. If you have personal experience with SNAP, make sure to include that.
  2. Make it local. Remind Congress that SNAP matters to the people who voted them into office. Include local data. And don’t forget to mention your member of Congress by name.
  3. Make it timely. Show the newspaper editor that this is urgent: reference a recent story on the Farm Bill, or call out that Congress could be voting as soon as the beginning of May. This can’t wait around.

And, most importantly:

  1. Make sure you submit it. The #1 reason someone’s letter to the editor doesn’t get published? They never submit it. Hitting “send” is the scariest part of publishing a letter – but it’s by far the most important.

Tools for getting started:

  • Add local data on SNAP in your state.
  • Learn all the details about this year’s farm bill would take food away from people who are struggling.
  • Check out what you’ve already accomplished: coast-to-coast media standing up for anti-poverty programs.

Letter to the editor template:

Remember, the best letters are the ones that come straight from the heart. But you can use our template to get you started. Not sure where to submit? Check the “opinion” section of your local paper’s website — most have a form or an email address like “[email protected]

To the editor:

SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) is the cornerstone of our country’s fight against hunger, helping more than 40 million people put food on the table. But recently, the House of Representatives passed a farm bill that would take SNAP away from people struggling to find work – even though SNAP helps people find and keep work.

Fortunately, the Senate passed a farm bill is bipartisan and protects SNAP. We need to make sure it stays that way. I urge lawmakers in both the House and Senate to get behind a final farm bill that’s bipartisan and ensures all Americans have enough to eat.


 [Your name]


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