More than 60 parishioners of Old St. Joseph Parish in Philadelphia gathered after Sunday Masses Oct. 7 to participate in the “Bread for the World” letter writing campaign.

The letters concerned the upcoming decision in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate on the Farm Bill and potential changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. More than 112 letters were written to legislators, who may vote on the Farm Bill when they return to session after the Nov. 6 elections.


Prior to this event, the parish conducted a month-long education program focused on the beneficiaries of SNAP. Information on the importance of the federal program for low-income elderly, persons with disabilities and children living in poverty was provided through columns in the Sunday bulletin.

Individual letters also were penned to the Pennsylvania senators and local representatives. Several parishioners wrote to representatives in New Jersey and one visitor to the parish wrote to his senator in California.

In order to ensure that the concerns of the parishioners were communicated before their representatives resumed consideration of the Farm Bill, the letters were hand delivered to the local offices of the representatives.

Parishioners expressed their support of this event and the importance of the issue. Old St. Joseph Parish will explore future activities focused on hunger in the community.