Congress’s Guide to Hunger and Your Nutrition Assistance Story


July 22, 2015

Nearly 16 percent of Americans – 49 million of us – struggle with hunger. That’s one out of every seven households. Hunger impacts children (16 million, in fact) and adults in every part of our country – every state and every city. This is not a partisan issue; it’s a national issue that can only be solved if lawmakers from both sides of the aisle work together.
That’s why national anti-hunger organizations and members of the House Hunger Caucus prepared a Guide to Domestic Hunger and Federal Nutrition Programs. The guide, intended to help members of Congress and their staff understand hunger and food insecurity in their own districts, as well as the federal safety net programs currently in place to help, was delivered to all Representatives in June.

As we noted in our recent Human Needs Report article on the stalled appropriations process, conservative legislators are calling for cuts in programs like SNAP/food stamps in exchange for lifting sequestration caps in an end-of-the-year spending deal. We’ll have our work cut out for us to ensure that programs like SNAP that serve the most vulnerable people do not lose ground. The House guide can be a great resource as we work to show lawmakers the importance of nutrition and anti-hunger programs in their districts and across the nation.

This resource includes:

    • Hunger and food security data for your district and state, as well as on the national level;
    • Stories from Witnesses to Hunger, parents who share their struggles to highlight the real-world, day-to-day impact of hunger;
    • An overview of the nutrition safety net, the federal nutrition programs that weave together to lift people out of poverty and ensure our most vulnerable have the nutrition necessary to survive and thrive;
    • Reports on child nutrition programs to inform lawmakers about their importance as we approach reauthorization for these programs (for more information on the child nutrition reauthorization on the table this fall, see this piece from CHN’s July 20th Human Needs Report);
    • Background on SNAP/food stamps; and
    • Information on hunger and its implications for the military and our national security.

It’s also not too late to tell your story of why nutrition assistance matters.

If public nutrition programs have helped you, your neighbors, fellow churchgoers or clients, we need to hear from you. CHN is partnering with the Food Research and Action Center, Witnesses to Hunger, Feeding America and the Center for American Progress to collect stories of people affected by hunger assistance programs, and the stories we’ve been receiving have been powerful and insightful. We’ve been hearing from communities in every corner of the country—and we want to hear more. Due to such a strong response, we are extending the campaign to give contributors more time to submit their stories. You now have until July 30 to share your story.

Share Your Story button

And don’t forget: Four people who submit their stories will have their expenses paid to come to Washington, D.C. to share their message in meetings with fellow advocates, policymakers, and members of the media. To be eligible for this opportunity, make sure to submit your story by July 30.

If you have any questions about the campaign, check out our campaign tool kit. You can also email Kelly Wilkins at or call at (202) 223-2532 x 112.

community voices why nutrition assistance matters

child nutrition
Food and Nutrition
Human Needs Report