Congress is voting on a bill that would leave more people hungry. Let's get this in the headlines.
June 19th, 2018
A bill headed to the House floor shortly would make it harder for more than a million low-income households to put food on the table, by cutting access to SNAP.
Sound familiar? That’s because the House already voted to reject this very bill – but now, unfortunately, they are trying to bring it back one more time in hopes of passing it. The bill is just as unacceptable as it was before.
Will you send a letter to the editor urging your member of Congress to reject any cuts or changes to SNAP in the farm bill?
The Senate has already crafted their own bipartisan farm bill that protects SNAP – the House should follow its lead. SNAP — what we used to call “Food Stamps” — is our country’s first line of defense against hunger. It helped over 40 million people put food on the table last year.
The House bill proposes a slew of destructive policy changes, with harsh new requirements to access the program and draconian penalties. In the process, the bill winds up taking food assistance away from people who need it. That’s bad policy, not to mention unconscionable.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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:
- Tailor our template letter to the editor below.
- Got more to say? Try writing a longer op-ed. Here’s an editable template for that too.
- New to media work? Here are guides to get started: Letters to the Editor | Op-eds | Editorials
- Add local data on SNAP in your state.
- Learn all the details on how this 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 last month, the House of Representatives voted on a farm bill that would have taken SNAP away from people struggling to find work — even though SNAP helps people find and keep work.
Fortunately, the House farm bill failed, but the coast isn’t clear. There is talk that the House could bring back the bill for another vote. I urge our members of Congress to vote against any farm bill that takes food assistance from struggling Americans. Instead, lawmakers in the House follow the Senate’s lead and pass a truly bipartisan bill that ensures all Americans have enough to eat.