Just Harvest continues to be guided by its mission and founding principles. These guiding ideas are built on the understanding that hunger is a symptom of poverty, and poverty is a product of economic and political injustice. Public policies frame the structure of our society, and it is through changing these policies that we can best address hunger and poverty. Our updated organizational mission, our vision statement, and our core values were adopted July 10, 2012 by the Just Harvest Board of Directors.
Just Harvest educates, empowers and mobilizes people to eliminate hunger, poverty, and economic injustice in our communities by influencing public policy, engaging in advocacy, and connecting people to public benefits.
- Everyone has a fundamental right to food. Hunger is unacceptable.
- All people, regardless of their economic circumstances, are entitled to dignity, rights, and a voice in policies that affect them.
- Hunger is political, and to end it requires collective political will.
- Sound public policy that promotes economic justice is the first and best line of defense against hunger and poverty.
- Just Harvest constituents’ perspectives shape the organization’s approach to addressing policy issues and providing services.
Just Harvest’s new ‘Vision Statement’ articulates our collective vision of where Just Harvest should be by 2016 and beyond.
Just Harvest dramatically reduces hunger in local communities by empowering people in need to obtain the public benefits that are their right. By educating people about how to hold those in the public policy arena accountable for eliminating poverty and hunger, Just Harvest serves as a valuable community resource. As the region’s recognized authority on hunger and poverty issues, Just Harvest shapes public opinion on the appropriate role of government in eradicating hunger and poverty. We are the undisputed leader in this field.
The following principles were written and adopted by Just Harvest’s founding board and staff in 1987:
Just Harvest advocates and works toward policies which:
- meet food and other human needs on an emergency and on-going basis
- foster an end to poverty and hunger, and to the conditions which maintain and perpetuate poverty and hunger;
- foster social, political and economic equality;
- protect the economic security, dignity and rights of low-income people;
- maximize participation of poor people in the matters which affect their lives;
- promote/advocate policies designed to meet basic human needs of poor people, and to maximize participation by those people;
- empower people to act in their own behalf.
Such policies include, but are not limited to, policies which:
- work toward adequate funding for food and other basic needs;
- make structural changes in existing programs to insure access to adequate assistance;
- insure that programs provide high quality service;
- insure that privacy, dignity and rights of poor people are respected;
- change the priorities that lead to hunger and poverty.
Just Harvest is committed to working for public policy reform; resolved to carrying out that commitment by monitoring and responding to policies and legislation which affect hunger, on whatever level.
Our advocacy work shall focus on national, state, local and international issues.