Members of Congress in the House and Senate are now home for an extended recess until April 23.

This is a great opportunity to get some face time with your Members of Congress and make sure they hear directly from you and other leaders in your community and state about the important role that federal nutrition programs play in improving the lives of their constituents — and what is at stake if these programs are weakened.

Policymakers need to know that there are 42 million people in this country — 13 million of them children — living in households that struggle to put food on the table every day. This problem would be far worse if not for the nation’s federal nutrition programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, school meals, and meals provided during child care, afterschool, and the summer months when school is out. These programs not only reduce hunger and poverty, they improve health and learning, increase productivity, boost the economy, and strengthen our communities.

Here are three ways to engage with your Representatives and Senators while they are back home.

Request a meeting with your Members’ district or state offices. The best way to engage with your Member of Congress is face-to-face, along with other partner organizations. Note: Members of Congress are much more likely to accept a meeting if they are able to meet with several groups at once. Connect with local or state affiliates of the more than 3,000 national organizations that signed on to a statement urging the president and Congress to safeguard and support the nation’s federal nutrition programs.*

FRAC’s Tips for Capitol Hill Visits offers helpful guidance for planning, conducting, and following up after a visit with Members of Congress while they are back home.

Host a community call. A community conference call helps advocates with limited travel budgets join partner organizations and colleagues who are able to meet with Members in person. Check out FRAC’s Community Call Guide for helpful ideas on having other organizations support your in-person visits.

Organize a site visit. Invite Members of Congress to visit school cafeterias, outreach centers, and other local program sites. By visiting community-based programs, Members can see firsthand how critical these investments are for children, seniors, and families in need.

For more ideas on how to engage with your Congressional representatives, visit FRAC’s Engage With Your Members page.

Send your Members back to Washington with a clear message for their colleagues: No block grants, no structural changes, and no spending cuts to these proven, effective programs. Together, we can make sure our call to end hunger is heard across the country.

Join FRAC’s #SaveTheSafetyNet campaign throughout the congressional recess and use the model letter-to-the-editor to amplify the message across media.

*Need help connecting with local partners? Email Joel Warren (