The fight is far from over.
Efforts by anti-hunger advocates and allies proved critical to ensuring the House rejected the Farm Bill (H.R. 2) on May 18, but the House is planning to schedule a second vote on H.R. 2 in June.
Moreover, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) has signaled his intention to mark up the Senate Farm Bill in committee on June 6.
Turn up the heat during Memorial Day recess week (May 26–June 3) by letting your Members of Congress know you stand with groups representing children, women, veterans, seniors, civil rights, people with disabilities, educators, faith-based leaders, and others in wanting Congress to protect and strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (pdf).
Advocates should weigh in now and during the upcoming recess week to urge Representatives and Senators to make sure the Farm Bill does not increase hunger.
Here are eight ways to engage your Members of Congress:
1. Call your Members’ in-district offices on Wednesday, May 30, and Thursday, May 31, for a National District Office SNAP Call-In Day. Find your members’ district office numbers on their websites and urge your networks to join.
2. Set up in-district meetings.
3. Publish a letter-to-the-editor in your local paper.
4. Ramp up your social media messaging to representatives (find their Twitter handles here) and include one of our graphics.
Senate Actions (particularly directed to members of the Senate Agriculture Committee):
5. Urge Senators to protect and strengthen SNAP in the Senate Agriculture Committee’s Farm Bill — no cuts or structural changes. Check out sample talking points (pdf).
6. Set up in-district meetings.
7. Tweet at Senators (find their Twitter handles here).
8. Provide data on the importance of SNAP in the Senator’s state, across rural areas, small towns, and metro areas.
Messaging for Members of the House:
- Thank Representatives who voted “No” on H.R. 2. Urge them to continue to vote “No” on the bill when it comes up for reconsideration on June 22.
- Tell moderate Republicans who voted “Yes” on H.R. 2 that you are disappointed they voted for a bill that would cut SNAP benefits by approximately $20 billion over 10 years and would take food off the tables of more than 2 million low-income Americans, making food insecurity and poverty in the U.S. far worse. Educate them on how the harmful bill got even worse during the amendment process (pdf) and urge them to vote “No” on June 22.
- Show how more people in their district would struggle against hunger if SNAP were weakened. Provide data on SNAP participation by congressional district as well as the importance of SNAP in your state.
If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback from your outreach to Members of Congress, please contact Lauren Badger (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ellen Teller (email@example.com), and continue to share your SNAP support letters, editorials, op-eds, and Letters to the Editors.