Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger
 

10 posts categorized "Social Media"

Rev. David Beckmann Challenges You to #ShareYourPlate

By Bread Staff

Yes, here’s proof that Rev. David Beckmann can cook – but with the help of two young anti-hunger activists, Elizabeth Quill and Margaret Hudak.

Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, answered a #ShareYourPlate challenge: a Catholic Charities, USA social media campaign to raise awareness about the pervasiveness of hunger. By sharing a cooking video, the #ShareYourPlate campaign reminds us that food is something we all share.

While preparing a taco salad, Quill and Hudak emphasized the need to advocate for programs that help people put food on their table. The girls told Beckmann of a meeting they had with their Virginia members of Congress in which they asked lawmakers to support funding for the SNAP program (formerly food stamps).

Their lobby visit illustrates how sharing a story with your member of Congress is a powerful advocacy tool. It can also help lawmakers understand the reality of hunger in states and districts far removed from their Washington, D.C. offices.

Hudak related her own experience of seeing hunger in the lunchroom at school.  She noticed some students restricted their purchases to only cereal and milk and saw others go without food entirely. “A kid can’t function through the day on milk and cereal,” she said.

Last December, Catholic Charities USA, Bread for the World, and others answered Pope Francis and Caritas Internationalis’ call for a global wave of prayer to end hunger as part of the One Family #FoodForAll campaign.

Rev. Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, created his own cooking video as a way to build on the #FoodForAll campaign. He then sent out a challenge to others to do the same before November 27 - including a special invitation to Beckmann.

Beckmann now challenges travel writer Rick Steves, community food systems expert Sharon Thornberry – and you.  Create a cooking video or post a photo at #ShareYourPlate and on your Twitter or Facebook page. Share a virtual meal and help bring awareness to the problem of hunger.

Folllow the challengers on Twitter: @DavidBeckmann, @Fr_Larry_Snyder, @RickSteves, and  @OFB_SharonT and tag @bread4theworld with your cooking video.

Tweet Congress: #FeedtheFuture

5188115264_6d60870c5f_b
Kenyan Farmer. (ACDI/VOCA)

By Robin Stephenson

Since 2010, Feed the Future programs have helped millions of farmers increase the amount of food they can grow and the the ability to feed their families. It is time to codify the program into law. With enough pressure from constituents, bills introduced in the House and Senate last month (H.R. 5656/S. 2909) could be voted on and passed during the lame-duck session. These bills would permanently authorize this comprehensive approach to global food security, ensuring the initiative continues beyond the current administration.

Learn more: Bread’s Bill Analysis: Feed the Future Global Food Security Act of 2014.

Both bills have been introduced into committee. For H.R. 5656 and S. 2909 to move forward, the committee leadership must schedule a mark-up. Committee members then vote on the marked-up version, and if passed, the bill moves out of committee and is eligible for a floor vote.  Leadership then determines if there is sufficient momentum to pass the bill and if so, will put the bill up for a vote from the full chamber. 

Cosponsorship implies a commitment to vote in support of a bill and helps build the momentum for a floor vote.  Help us build momentum.  Look for your state, and if you have a member of Congress on one of the committees considering the Feed the Future Global Food Security Act of 2014, click on his/her name to automatically load a tweet. If you do not have a Twitter account, email or call your representative at (800) 826-3688 and ask him/her to cosponsor H.R. 5656.  And email or call your senators, and ask them to cosponsor S. 2909. 

Senate Foreign Affairs: 113th Congress Committee Members
*members in bold have cosponsored S. 2909: Global Food Security Act of 2014

State

Majority Member

State

Minority member

New Jersey

Chairman, Robert Menendez

Tennessee

Bob Corker, Ranking Member

California

Barbara Boxer

Idaho

James Risch

Maryland

Benjamin Cardin

Florida

Marco Rubio

New Hampshire

Jeanne Shaheen

Wisconsin

Ron Johnson

Delaware

Christopher Coons        

Arizona

Jeff Flake

Illinois

Richard Durbin

Arizona

John McCain

New Mexico

Tom Udall

Wyoming

John Barrasso

Connecticut

Chris Murphy

Kentucky

Rand Paul

Virginia

Tim Kaine

 

 

Massachusetts

Edward Markey

 

 

House Committee on Foreign Affairs:  113th Congress Committee Members
*members in bold have cosponsored H.R. 5656: Feed the Future Global Food Security Act of 2014.

State

Majority Member

State

Minority Member

California

Chairman, Edward Royce

New York

Eliot Engel, Ranking Member

New Jersey

Christopher Smith

America Samoa

Eni Faleomavaega

Florida

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

California

Brad Sherman

California

Dana Rohrabacher

New York

Gregory Meeks

Ohio

Steve Chabot

New Jersey

Albio Sires

South Carolina

Joe Wilson

Virginia

Gerald Connolly

Texas

Michael McCaul

Florida

Theodore Deutch

Texas

Ted Poe

New York

Brian Higgins

Arizona

Matt Salmon

California

Karen Bass

Pennsylvania

Tom Marino

Massachusetts

William Keating

South Carolina

Jeff Duncan

Rhode Island

David Cicilline

Illinois

Adam Kinzinger

Florida

Alan Grayson

Alabama

Mo Brooks

California

Juan Vargas

Arkansas

Tom Cotton

Illinois

Bradley Schneider

California

Paul Cook

Massachusetts

Joseph Kennedy III

North Carolina

George Holding

California

Ami Bera

Texas

Randy Weber Sr.

California

Alan S. Lowenthal

Pennsylvania

Scott Perry

New York

Grace Meng

Texas

Steve Stockman

Florida

Lois Frankel

Florida

Ron DeSantis

Hawaii

Tulsi Gabbard

Georgia

Doug Collins

Texas

Joaquin Castro

North Carolina

Mark Meadows

 

 

Florida

Ted Yoho

 

 

Wisconsin

Sean Duffy

 

 

Florid

Curt Clawson

 

 

 Robin Stephenson is the national lead for social media and senior regional organizer at Bread for the World.

 

 

Women: The Missing Link in Ending Hunger


Faustine Wabwire, senior foreign assistance policy analyst for Bread for the World Institute, appears on Africa 54, a Voice of America program about economic growth in Africa and the rural and urban divide. 

When you think of agriculture, is the role of women one of the first things that come to mind?  It should be, especially if you're thinking about agriculture in the context of global development. In developing countries like Bangladesh and Tanzania, women produce the majority of food. They are champions working hard to keep hunger at bay for their families and communities. Faustine Wabwire, senior foreign assistance policy analyst at Bread for the World Institute, calls women "the missing link" in the fight to end global hunger and poverty.

In the paper "A Global Development Agenda Toward 2015 and Beyond," Wabwire, a global affairs expert and frequent guest on Voice of America TV and Radio, says that to increase agricultural outputs, we must also increase gender equality for women. “Startling research findings show that, in fact, almost 55 percent of the reduction in hunger from 1970 to 1995 can be attributed to improvements in women’s status in society," she writes, adding that it's "more than agricultural or technological advances contributed.” Gender equality, she goes on to point out, is a precondition for overcoming poverty, hunger, and malnutrition.

This Saturday is International Women’s Day, which offers a perfect opportunity to start up conversations about women’s empowerment as a solution to ending hunger. It's an issue that Wabwire and the rest of Bread for the World Institute are exploring for the 2015 edition of the Hunger Report, an annual report that helps educate opinion leaders, policy makers, and the public about hunger in the United States and abroad. 

You can talk to Wabwire, and other members of the Institute staff, today between noon and 1 p.m. ET (9 a.m. PT) during a special Twitter chat on women's empowerment and ending hunger. They will answer questions and talk about the conditions and policies will help foster gender equality, and how can faithful advocates can support this work. Follow the hashtag #IWD2014 to join the conversation.

 

Join Us This Afternoon for a Twitter Chat on Hunger

_MG_9726
Nadine Blackwell, who is featured in the 2014 Hunger Report, surveys the contents of her refrigerator (Joseph Molieri/Bread for the World).
 
Fifty million people in the United States—including one in four children—struggle with hunger every day. But ending hunger in this country is possible. "If we decided we really wanted to do it, we could wake up one morning in 2030 and be living in a country where hunger is rare and temporary, not the shared experience of millions of Americans that it is in 2014," reads the opening line of Bread for the World Institute's 2014 Hunger Report, Ending Hunger in America.
 
Today at 4 p.m. ET, Upworthy and Take Part will host an important #UpChat on Twitter to discuss hunger in America, and solutions to the problem. Bread for the World and Bread for the World Institute are participating in the chat, as are chef Tom Colicchio, director Lori Silverbush, co-creator of the film A Place at the Table, and, hopefully, you.
 
Join in the conversation by following the hashtag #UpChat from your Twitter account beginning at 4 p.m. Ask questions, talk about your personal experiences, and trade information and solutions. 
 
To learn more about hunger in America—and how we can end it in our lifetimes—be sure to watch the documentary A Place at the Table, and read the 2014 Hunger Report.

Results Founder and Author Sam Daley-Harris on Creating Champions for a Cause

Final Front Cover PanelSam Daley-Harris knows quite a bit about using advocacy to effect social change. He is the founder of the anti-poverty nonprofit RESULTS, the organization's Microcredit Summit Campaign, and the Center for Citizen Empowerment and Transformation—as well as a longtime Bread for the World member. Daley-Harris is also the author of Reclaiming Our Democracy, in which he offers ordinary citizens strategies to become powerful advocates. He recently released the 20th-anniversary edition of his book, which issues a challenge to organizations to provide a deeper level of empowerment to their members.

"There needs to be an understanding on how to coach volunteers to go deeper with their advocacy," he says. "I spent the first 31 years of my life like most people — hopeless about solving big problems. I got involved in [California anti-hunger nonprofit] the Hunger Project in 1977 and met my member of Congress, the late Bill Lehman (D-Fla.) about a year later. He’s the one who told me about Bread and urged me to join."

Daley-Harris says he "cut his teeth" at Bread for the World, where he was introduced to advocacy work, then went on to found RESULTS in 1980, and wrote the first edition of Reclaiming Our Democracy in 1993, based on what he'd learned about grassroots activism. The updated version of the book still focuses on strengthening advocacy efforts but includes new information on using current technologies and social media in advocacy work. Daley-Harris says that although social media has expanded advocacy efforts in many ways, it's still important for nonprofits to offer their volunteers a way to engage that goes beyond a mouse click. Namely, organizations must offer their activists "a deep curriculum and rich support" — in other words, prepare advocates with useful information and offer them help in engaging with their elected officials.

He says the Bread model of not just asking advocates to sign an online petition or send a form email, but encouraging them to contact members of Congress through personal letters, phone calls, and in-person meetings — as well as writing letters to the editors of local papers — is key to "creating champions in Congress and in the media."

"If someone is in an organization that does significant online 'mouse-click advocacy,' I’m not saying to stop that," he says. "I'm just saying that if you have a million members, or half a million members, or 100,000 members, or 50,000 members, there's a small percentage of your members who want to go much deeper than that. And if you allow them to do that, major change is possible. [Those are the things] that get to the root of changing a member of Congress' position and really dealing with things like climate change and global poverty, which are systemic issues."

Letters to the editor, in particular, Daley-Harris says, are a tool that many organizations are no longer emphasizing, even though they are still incredibly effective. "Are newspapers struggling? Yes. Are they cutting back on the number of their editorial writers? Yes," he says. "But when I wake up in the morning, the first thing that I do, I wake up and I read my emails, I read Google news, and I read the New York Times online. I think we all still go to the newspaper — we just might not go to the front yard to pick it up." (See Bread's guide to writing a successful letter to the editor.)

Finally, Daley-Harris says, he learned from his time at RESULTS and his early work with Bread that advocates are capable of, and want to do, a tremendous amount of work for worthy causes. Too many organizations are afraid of giving their grassroots too much to do, but there will always be a core group who wants to do more, not less. "People really want to make a bigger difference," he says.

Counting Our Social Media Blessings

8583949219

As the clock winds down on 2013 and we anticipate new opportunities in the next year to end hunger, it is a good time to reflect on the blessings of the past year.

Because of your advocacy in 2013, many of the deepest cuts proposed to programs that help end hunger were thwarted.  Writing letters, making phone calls, and meeting with members of Congress made a difference. We also used social media as another tool to amplify our message. Many of you shared and educated others in your networks with resources and action alerts that we posted on the Bread Blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Social networks are about conversations and national conversations influence members of Congress. Each time one more person calls on his or her member of Congress asking them to act to end hunger, it is a blessing. Each person who joins the mission to end hunger is a blessing.

  • More than 20,000 blessings (followers) on Facebook like and share resources, stories, and action alerts. Your comments and interaction inspire and inform us.

  • Nearly 10,500 blessings (followers) have used Twitter with @bread4theworld to #talkpoverty and help us end hunger. 
  • All year we have worked to make the Bread Blog a resource for of up-to-date news on issues related to our work and we have seen a marked increase in daily readership – a trend we hope to see grow in 2014!

We began last year on the brink of “fiscal cliff” negotiations that threatened to derail the economy.  Instead, we were able to report a final vote that protected important programs to end hunger, such as the 2013 extension of emergency unemployment benefits. One of the year’s first blog posts included a thank you to faithful advocates, who helped urge lawmakers to do the right thing for those who experience hunger. 

Although we end the year with a thank you again to advocates for urging Congress to pass a budget that put aside political brinksmanship, lawmakers failed to extend emergency unemployment for 2014 or pass a farm bill. Comprehensive immigration reform still waits for action by the House of Representatives. Without action on these three issues, many face an uncertain new year clouded by worry.

The first few months of 2014 will be busy. We will ask Congress to extend emergency unemployment, pass a farm bill that protects SNAP (formerly food stamps) and strengthens U.S. food aid. We will urge passage of an immigration reform bill that helps end hunger both here and abroad.

It is possible for us to achieve great things together through faith and action. We can use every tool at hand to change the political will to end hunger–including social media. Continue to read the Bread Blog to stay informed. Share content on your social networks. Help us increase our blessings in 2014.

With just a day and a half before the New Year, thanks to a few generous donors, online gifts will be doubled. Can you make a gift now to help hungry people?

Tag, Congress: You're It

Natasha
Smart phones can be a powerful tool for advocates who want to make their message public through social media networks. Most members of Congress are on both Twitter and Facebook. Nicole Rushing (left) and Natasha Bisbal (right) listen to Joe Martingale (not pictured) at Bread for the World's Lobby Day in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, June 12, 2012 (Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World).

It’s time to let members of Congress know that  must help those facing hunger and poverty – tag your members  on social media and remind them of this moral responsibility. Using Twitter and Facebook, you can help amplify the message that a small group of faithful advocates are taking to Capitol Hill today: create a circle of protection around SNAP and make ending hunger a priority.

Over the next couple of weeks, members of the House of Representatives will vote on a nutrition-only farm bill that would cut $40 billion from the SNAP program over 10 years — a devastating prospect that could increase hunger for as many as 6 million U.S. citizens. We have identified 14 members of the House of Representatives who will be key votes and they need to hear from you today.

If you use Twitter, tag your member with a message or make up your own. For example: 

Rep. @bachusal06 vote NO on SNAP cuts and make ending hunger a priority #circleofprotection 

On Facebook, tell your story on the wall of your member or tag him or her in a message on your wall (you need to like your member's official page in order to do this). For example:

I’m asking @Don Young to Vote NO on SNAP cuts that would take food off the table of as many as 6 million Americans. Ending hunger should be a priority and a farm bill that cuts SNAP by $40 billion will only increase the struggle for our most vulnerable citizens during these tough economic times.

Below is a list of key representatives that Bread for the World will be meeting with today. If your member is on this list, tag him or her in a tweet or a Facebook post and help us amplify the message that now is not the time to cut SNAP.

 

State/Dist

Representative

Twitter

Facebook

AL-06

Spencer Bachus

@BachusAL06

@Spencer Bachus

AK-at large

Don Young

@repdonyoung

@Don Young

KY-05

Hal Rogers

@RepHalRogers

@Harold Rogers

NJ-02

Frank LoBiondo

@replobiondo

@Frank LoBiondo

NJ-04

Chris Smith

@RepChrisSmith

@Christopher Smith

NJ-11

Rodney Frelinghuysen

@USRepRodney

@Rodney Frelinghuysen

NY-11

Michael Grimm

@repmichaelgrimm

@Rep. Michael Grimm

NY-19

Chris Gibson

@RepChrisGibson

@Congressman Chris Gibson

NY-22

Richard Hanna

@RepRichardHanna

@U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna

NY-02

Peter King

@RepPeteKing

@Peter King

OH-14

David Joyce

@RepDaveJoyce

@Rep. Dave Joyce

PA-07

Patrick Meehan

@RepMeehan

@Congressman Patrick Meehan

PA-08

Michael Fitzpatrick

@RepFitzpatrick

@Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick

VA-10

Frank Wolf

@RepWOLFPress

@Congressman Frank Wolf

 

If you don't see your member's name listed here, that doesn't mean that their vote isn't important or that it isn't critical to get in touch with them today! Find him or her on Facebook or Twitter and send them a message asking them to protect SNAP.

If you’re not active on social media your voice can still make an difference.  Email or call your representative today and urge him or her to vote against $40 billion in cuts to SNAP. Use our toll-free number, 1-800-826-3688, to be connected to the Capitol switchboard or click here to send an email. 

Join Us for the National Gathering--On Social Media

BreadrisingFINAL1By Robin Stephenson

The plane tickets have been bought, bags are being packed, and in just two days, Bread members will gather in Washington, D.C. Just like the title of Art Simon’s book says, "Bread will Rise" beginning this Saturday and culminating in Lobby Day (Tuesday, June 11), when our members will take the outcry to end hunger to the offices of our legislators. We hope you will join us as well.

If you can’t physically come to this year’s Gathering, you can still participate virtually. Follow our social networks—this blog, Facebook, and our Twitter feed—and we'll keep you informed of what is happening with recaps, pictures, and more. The social media team and National Gathering participants will be live tweeting the workshops using the hashtag #BreadRising

Workshops will cover such diverse, yet interconnected, topics as immigration, foreign assistance, tax reform, malnutrition, and agriculture. Skills workshops designed to enhance the power of our advocacy will cover everything from how to create public dialogue to telling your story.  And you won’t want to miss inspiring words from keynote speakers like renowned preacher Rev. Dr. James Forbes, Esperanza President Rev. Luis Cortes, and USAID administrator Raj Shah. 

On Tuesday, as we head to Capitol Hill for Lobby Day, you can support Bread members from your home state as they tell our lawmakers that everyone deserves a place at the table. Participants will be tweeting about their meetings and posting pictures on their Facebook pages. We encourage remote participants to call their members of Congress, and use your social networks to amplify the message that polices in the farm bill must protect the most vulnerable and that it is time to put an end to sequestration and agree on a balanced, long-term plan for the nation's fiscal sustainability. 

You can follow each day's events by downloading the National Gathering event program. Pack your virtual bag and join the conversation on social media as we gather in our nation’s capital this weekend. There is more than enough food in the world to feed all people, yet millions still go hungry. Now is the time to gather the political will to follow Jesus' teaching and ensure a place at the table for the least of these. 

Robin Stephenson is national social media lead and senior regional organizer, western hub, at Bread for the World.

#EndHungerNow: Building Political Will in Cyberspace

Endhungernow_500_px

By Robin Stephenson

“Hunger is a political condition,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) yesterday, in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives. A long-time champion of the anti-hunger movement, McGovern is encouraging the use of a new hashtag on the social media network Twitter: #EndHungerNow.

Social networks are about conversations and national conversations influence members of Congress. We have the resources to end hunger, but we need to build political will. Increased public dialogue around the issue of hunger can help convince both Congress and the administration that ending hunger must be a national priority.

One of the most important, but least talked about, stories to emerge about the economic downturn is that the safety net has worked. “It’s important to point out that even though over 50 million people were food insecure, the vast majority had a safety net that prevented them from actually starving,” McGovern said during his speech. 

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is largely responsible for keeping food on the tables of those Americans most affected by unemployment and under-employment. Yet during last year’s farm bill negotiations, the House Committee on Agriculture proposed $16.5 billion in cuts to the vital program. As many as 3 million people would have been cut out of SNAP and 280,000 children would have lost their school meals.

Members of Congress need to hear our call to prioritize ending hunger, so we must speak up, and use all channels available to us in order to get that message across.  McGovern will continue to do weekly "End Hunger Now" speeches on the floor and ask that you join him online, using the #EndHungerNow hashtag. Join the conversation—and tag your members of Congress in a tweet while you're at it.

Here is a video of yesterday's floor speech:

And if you aren't on Twitter, you can still influence your members of Congress and encourage them to create a circle of protection around SNAP. Write or email your representative and senators, or consider making use of public dialogue by writing an op-ed or letter to the editor and submitting it to your local newspaper.

Robin Stephenson is national social media lead and senior regional organizer, western hub, at Bread for the World.

A Recap of the MCC and Bread for the World #HungerHall

Stay Connected

Bread for the World