By Joyce Rothermel
Domestic and international food programs are being threatened with severe budget cuts. The proposed Trump budget for 2019 would devastate the US food and nutrition safety net known as SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) and reduce international development and food relief by a third. There is something all of us can do. To find out, register now to attend this year’s SW PA Bread for the World Workshop scheduled for Sunday, April 15 from 1-4 p.m. in the John Knox Room at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 N. Highland Avenue in East Liberty.
Margaret Tran, Bread’s Regional Organizer, will bring participants up to date on this year’s focus for the annual Offering of Letter: urging Congress to invest in and protect key programs that help improve the lives of men, women, and children facing hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world (annually members of congregations/groups write letters to Congress on a targeted issue identified by the national Bread for the World office).
Elizabeth Fishback, director of Sen. Casey’s regional office, will tell us about plans for the reauthorization of the Farm Bill that supports SNAP and several other domestic and international food programs (Sen. Casey serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee).
Dennis McManus, Government Relations Director at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank will help us understand the role that advocates are playing to improve the next Farm Bill.
Break-out groups will feature some creative approaches to this year’s Offering of Letters; some how-to’s in meeting with elected officials and those running for office this year (with role plays); and finally, ways congregations and others can support Summer Food Service Program sites that offer children’s meals over the summer right here in our region.
Sign up now. To register online go to http://bit.ly/bread2018, call Myra Mann at 412-882-6252 or Joyce Rothermel at 412-780-5118.
If you are unable to attend the workshop, consider this: You are invited to organize an Offering of Letters — an event at which people in your congregation, campus, or group sit down together to write to members of Congress on a specific issue. An Offering of Letters is an effective tool that enables citizens and residents of our country to make their voices heard and that helps shape our government’s response to hunger. A toolkit is available at http://www.bread.org You can also get help from Myra or myself at the numbers listed above.
Joyce Rothermel is Co-Chair of the SW PA Bread for the World Team.