Action toolkit - Child & Family Policy Center

Action toolkit

Your resource for policy advocacy 

Speaking up for Iowa kids and families is important work that requires all of us working together. That's why we've developed a toolkit offering practical action steps you can take to influence child and family policy in Iowa and in D.C. Check back regularly for updates.



August 24, 2018
SNAP and the farm bill: Write a letter to the editor

Join us in protecting food assistance for over 350,000 Iowans by writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper! To get started, select from one of the following templates, which vary in focus but all highlight the importance of SNAP.

Template #1: SNAP is critical for child development and life-long health
Template #2: SNAP is irreplaceable safety net for Americans in crisis
Template #3: SNAP is key to a timely farm bill needed by farmers and rural communities

These templates are a starting point; please feel free to tailor them to reflect to include your town or community. Also consider personalizing it by adding your reasons for supporting SNAP, including stories or experiences.

Consider these tips while writing your letter:

  • Keep it short. Make sure your letter stays within the publication's word limit. Generally it's best to keep your letter to 300 words maximum. 
  • Tell your story. Personal stories and experiences are powerful ways to help readers connect with what you're saying on a deeper level. 
  • Don't get too detailed. With 300 words or fewer to convey your point, don't get hung up on explaining policy or legislation in detail. Instead, summarize complex information using simple, every day language. 
  • Consider your audience and publication. Write with your readers in mind, as well as the publication your sending the letter to. What reasons will your readers identify with? Does the publication have certain requirements for submitting letters? 

Before you send it off, it's a good idea to have a friend or family member review your letter for grammar, punctuation and clarity. Then submit it following the publication's preferred method (i.e. some papers prefer online submissions, while others request letters via email or mail). 

As always, you can contact us here at the Center, and we'd be more than happy to help with the process. 

Questions? Contact Stephen Dykstra, Communication Associate, at   

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