July 1, 2016
By Roses Laughlin
On Tuesday, June 7, 2016, five members of the SW PA Bread for the World team travelled to Washington, D.C. in order to lobby for better anti-hunger legislation. The three main points of the visit were to urge members of Congress to support the Global Food Security Act (S. 1252), which makes Feed the Future a permanent program; to oppose the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 (H.R. 5003), which makes free and assisted school lunch programs less accessible; and a budgetary concern that Congress allot $230 million to global food security programs through the U.S. State Department.
Overall, the visits were successful. Rep. Mike Doyle (PA-14) gave a face-to-face meeting and was enthusiastically supportive of Bread for the World’s goals in the coming year. The offices of Sen. Casey and Sen. Toomey also gave meetings to the PA Bread team. Powerful and personal testimonies were the highlights of the Senate meetings, with several members sharing real stories of the impact of domestic nutrition programs. Both offices expressed consideration for the bills, though Sen. Casey’s office, the more traditional ally of the organization’s goals, was more supportive and had actually co-sponsored the Global Food Security Act and the Stop Child Summer Hunger Act. The office of Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18) also granted a meeting, but made no commitments to support Bread’s policy requests.
Congressional visits are an important way to remind the members of Congress of their accountability to their constituents, as well as offering a way to remind them of the personal ramifications of their votes. It is a powerful and essential aspect of democracy.
The local Bread Team is joining Bread’s Vote to End Hunger Campaign and will be reaching out to the candidates for the House, Senate and Presidency to let them know that on election day, Bread members will be voting to end hunger by supporting candidates committed to ending hunger at home and abroad.
To join the local Bread team, contact Joyce Rothermel at 412-271-8414 or through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Roses Laughlin is a summer intern with the SW PA Bread for the World Team. She is a student at the Universit y of Pittsburgh.