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Letter: Urge your legislators to approve the Senate's version of the farm bill

As people of faith working to end hunger, we call our state's Congressional delegation to pass a farm bill that supports the people who eat and the farmers who grow our food. Sens. John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer all serve on the farm bill conference committee. This is a unique opportunity for them to work together toward passing legislation that helps meet the needs of all for the sake of the common good, especially for the 28,700 households in North Dakota and 15 million households in the United States who lack adequate food at some times during the year.

SNAP, formerly called food stamps, helps people access food. SNAP helps families with children, senior citizens, people working in low-paying jobs and people with disabilities put food on the table. SNAP is also part of the farm bill. Members of Congress and their staffs are working this month of September, which is also known as "Hunger Action Month," to come to agreement on one farm bill. As the House and Senate work to find agreement, we urge them to adopt the Senate's version, which protects and supports SNAP. We also encourage them to support policies that strengthen family farms and rural communities.

As we work with members of our congregations in action through charity and justice, we encourage our members of Congress to take action through sound policy. We urge people of faith across the state to raise their voices to speak up in support of actions and policies that provide food for the hungry and for ending the conditions that allow hunger to persist.

Schmidt, West Fargo, wrote this letter with Rev. Elwood Rieke and Jessica Arneson, Fargo, co-chairs of the Eastern North Dakota Synod/ELCA Hunger and Justice Committee; Deborah Elhard, Ellendale, N.D.; Dr. Phyllis Johnson, Grand Forks; Rev. Mytch Dorvilier, Fargo; and Rev. Martin Avery, Fargo.