Just Harvest’s 2009 Annual Meeting and Board Election

On Tuesday night, many of Just Harvest’s staff, board, volunteers, and supporters came together to celebrate the successes of 2008 and look forward to the year ahead. Reports were given on the highlights of the past year, organizational finances, up coming advocacy efforts, and the challenges and opportunities Just Harvest will face in 2009. For a summary of the information discussed check out this year’s Annual Report, available on our website. One of the meeting’s highlights was the election of new board members. Please check out the new board and their biographies at our website. We look forward to the energy and passion this board brings to its work.

This year’s annual meeting featured a talk by Joyce Rothermel, the long-time CEO of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Joyce, who is also a Just Harvest member, discussed the hunger situation in Western Pennsylvania and the role of non-profits in responding to the community’s growing needs. She affirmed the long-standing partnership between Just Harvest and the Food Bank, and challenged both organizations to work together to end hunger. Just Harvest’s public policy-centered work compliments, builds upon, and supports the direct food relief provided by the Food Bank and its member agencies. As the economic recession continues, all poverty and hunger focused non-profits will have to stretch their resources to meet the unprecedented challenges and opportunities they face in their work. To learn more about the Food Bank and its important work visit their website.

Another exciting part of the evening’s events was the announcement of the new volunteer-directed Grassroots Program Committee. This still-forming committee, which will be made up of volunteers and board members, will be an informal mechanism for interested people to organize events and activities that promote Just Harvest’s mission. Whether you want to organize a bowling party or happy hour, host a film showing or a book discussion, the Grassroots Program Committee is the place to get involved! The first meeting will be at 6pm on Tuesday, May 26 at the Just Harvest office. Pizza will be provided for this brainstorming session, and all are invited to attend. Please contact Brian Gilmore by email or phone (412-431-8960) if you are interested in participating.

2008 was a great year for Just Harvest, and it would not have been possible with out you, our supporters, volunteers, members, staff, and board. Thank you for joining us in this important work. With your support, Just Harvest continues the fight against hunger and poverty, sowing the seeds of economic justice here in Allegheny County and beyond!

-Paul Shetler Fast, Just Harvest Intern

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