Sample Letter from an Advocacy Group
(make sure to customize based on whether you are sending it to the House or the Senate)
The Honorable XX The Honorable XX
United States Senate United States House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Senator/Representative XX,
I am a [person who works with low income people/ emergency food provider/other description of
yourself] in Town. I am writing because I am very disturbed that about 35 million people in our great country
cannot always afford adequate food, including significant numbers of families in our state. Please tell
Agriculture Committee Chairman Harkin (Senate)/Peterson (House) that a strong nutrition title in the Farm
Bill this year is essential.
Here at organization/food pantry/ town I meet a lot of people, including elderly people, working
parents, and children, who struggle to get by on very low incomes. Often they have to choose between
paying for utilities or food, or parents skip meals so their children will not go to bed hungry. In a country as
wealthy as ours, and with the abundance of food that we produce, there is no reason why our people should
be deprived of the food they need for a healthy life.
The benefits funded though the Farm Bill, including programs such as Food Stamps and The
Emergency Food Assistance Program, are our nation’s first line of defense against hunger and the fact that
we rarely see people in our country starving anymore is a tribute to its success. The Food Stamp Program
provides a vital support to the 26 million people who use food stamps to put food on the table every month.
It is the largest child nutrition program in the country; about 80 percent of food stamp recipients live in
households with children and nearly one-third (31 percent) of recipients are elderly people or people with
However, benefit levels are too low and many people who need help are not eligible and cannot
complete the process because it is too complicated. We see the consequences in more sickness, children who
cannot learn at school, behavior problems, and increased medical costs down the road.
The Farm Bill also provides USDA commodities to states which distribute food through local
emergency food providers (TEFAP). In our state of Illinois, the Emergency Food Assistance Program
(TEFAP) contracts with local soup kitchens and food pantries for direct distribution to needy people.
TEFAP fills gaps for those in immediate need due to insufficient benefits from federal nutrition programs or
those not receiving other federal nutrition programs. It also supports the agricultural sector through
nutritious commodity purchases and facilitates private-public partnerships in the fight to end hunger.
I realize that Congress has to make difficult decisions in allocating our nation’s resources, and the
Farm Bill is no exception. However, it is incumbent upon our representatives in Washington to ensure that
we as a society are working to ensure that our neighbors have access to adequate nutrition. We have an
obligation to help hardworking people who are struggling to feed their families and build a better life.
Please contact Chairman Harkin (Senate)/Peterson (House) to thank him for supporting the Food
Stamp Program and let him know that you support a strong nutrition title in the Farm Bill this year.