Serve. Pray. Act. on Behalf of Hungry Children on September 13
WHAT? This year on God’s Work. Our Hands. Sunday, consider adding advocacy as a complement to your service. This year, you can help start a letter writing campaign to Congress. These letters will help advocate for justice by educating your representatives about an issue and showing your community’s commitment to compassionate values.
WHY? In our nation, 15.8 million children live in households that struggle with hunger. No child in a country of such great resources should ever go hungry.
Successful and cost-effective federal programs are critical to the wellbeing of children in nearly every school and community across the U.S. These programs are made possible by a law that must be reauthorized by September of this year.
The Senate Agriculture Committee is expected to review long-awaited Child Nutrition legislation on September 17. Senators need to hear your voice today to urge them to take up Child Nutrition Re-authorization this year! The House of Representatives will likely not take up Child Nutrition Re-authorization before the Senate does, making Senate action urgent.
Hungry children face a lifetime of challenges, including low birth weights, diminished immune systems, emotional and developmental growth delays, educational delays, greater hospitalization, decreased earning potential as adults, and higher life-long health costs.
As Lutherans, we have a role to ensure that our children and our neighbors have access to adequate nutritious food. Through our faith we are called to advocate with our policy makers to encourage and hold them accountable for efficient and successful programs that serve hungry children in our country.
Our nation’s Child Nutrition programs include: the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which provides nutritious foods, education and access to health care for millions of low-income new mothers and infants; as well as the National School Lunch Program and the Summer Food Service Program, both of which guarantee that millions of low-income children have access to healthy food throughout the year. Read our Fact Sheet.
HOW? – Mail your letters to the ELCA D.C. Advocacy Office at 122 C Street NW, Suite 125 Washington, D.C. 20001. Letters received by September 18 will be delivered during the ELCA Bishops Advocacy Convening in late September.
A sample, customization letter is below – or you can download a print-ready version here.
Want to reach even more people? Send a link to our online action center to the entire congregation.
Please leave the salutation blank – we will fill it out for you, so that it can go to your Senator or Representative, as needed.
As a member of the Lutheran church and your constituent, I urge you to support a strong Child Nutrition Re-authorization before it expires this year. My faith compels me to speak out when some 15.8 million children live in households that struggle with hunger. No child in a nation of such great wealth and resources should ever go hungry.
Adequate food and nutrition forms the foundation of a healthy and productive life. Hungry children face a lifetime of challenges, including low birth weights, diminished immune systems, emotional and developmental growth delays, educational delays, greater hospitalization, decreased earning potential as adults, and higher life-long health costs.
As Congress considers renewing these programs, I urge you to work to:
1. Increase funding to child nutrition programs, which will ensure access to under-served and low-income children;
2. Secure advances made in nutrition standards over the last several decades by maintaining a reliance on science-based recommendations as they relate to fruits, vegetables and healthy grains;
3. Invest in and expand access to child nutrition programs in rural and Native American communities;
4. Funding at $6.684 billion to adequately serve anticipated caseloads; and
5. Address the rising cost of nutritious food due to unstable climate conditions.
The outcomes for children with healthy and nutritious foods are too important to let Re-authorization stall in Congress. Rather than providing funding for these programs for only one year, we must pass these essential programs now, or risk pushing these discussions into a controversial Presidential Election. Please support a strong Child Nutrition Re-authorization before it expires September 30, 2015.
Thank you for your service and I look forward to hearing from you.