Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Michigan Activists Ask Senator to Protect SNAP

Whiteboard_messaging_michiganBy Robin Stephenson

The Flint, Michigan chapter of Church Women United (CWU) has a message for Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI): create a circle of protection around funding for vital domestic nutrition programs that meet the needs of millions of American families.

Stabenow, as chair of the Senate agriculture committee, is spearheading the Senate’s version of the farm bill, which authorizes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). This gives Michigan constituents a unique opportunity to influence the decision to either cut or protect SNAP funding as Congress works on a farm bill compromise.

The Flint CWU chapter recently sent 21 letters to Sen. Stabenow to let her know that members of her voting constituency support SNAP—and the 1.9 million Michigan residents who relied on the program during fiscal year 2011. The letter-writing event was organized by Kathryn Blake, a member of both CWU and Bread for the World, with assistance from Michelle Werner, an alumna of the Hunger Justice Leader program.


Members of the chapter amplified their message through social media channels by using photos. When tweeted, featured on a blog, or posted to Facebook, photo messages can spark public dialogue and increase pressure on a member of Congress to act. Photos also create an opportunity to talk about hunger and poverty issues with family members and friends. 

During the lame duck session of Congress after the November elections, the fate of many anti-poverty and anti-hunger federal programs will be considered. It is crucial to speak out now, as the Church Women United in Flint did, and work to create the political will to end hunger.

Robin Stephenson is social media lead/senior regional organizer, western hub.

Photo: Courtesy of Flint, Mich., chapter of Church Women United.

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