FareStart’s 2022-25 Strategic Plan: Advancing Equity Through Personal Stability, Economic Mobility & Food Security

November 10, 2021

A Letter to Our Community,

I’m writing to share FareStart’s bold path forward -- our 2022-2025 Strategic Plan.

This plan builds upon nearly 30 years of listening, learning and evolving. It also is informed by the pandemic, which exacerbated joblessness, poverty and food insecurity — particularly for Black, Indigenous, people of color, women and LGBTQ+ communities. This plan moves us forward in our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) journey and grounds our work in antiracism.

FareStart has and always will be committed to transforming lives, disrupting poverty and nourishing communities. And we will always be committed to food, life skills and job training. To realize our mission in a better, more equitable way, we need to make significant shifts in how we go about our work and ensure we center our efforts on the communities furthest from opportunity and most affected by poverty, homelessness and food insecurity. The impact of the pandemic makes this work more imperative than ever.

FareStart is well-positioned to help build back a more inclusive workforce by focusing on personal stability, economic mobility and food security. True transformation means changing the systems in which we operate and addressing the root causes of poverty, homelessness and food insecurity. Our endpoint is not the first restaurant job after graduation, or the nutritious meal delivered to the shelter. 

We must create pathways for graduates to move toward living wage jobs to become stable and thrive. We must focus on job and life skills that can be applied across various industries and address the barriers that prevent graduates from moving up the income ladder. We must expand employer partnerships to organizations that create a supportive environment, an opportunity for advancement and a pathway toward a livable wage. We need to grow our consulting to share best practices with organizations aligned with our mission across the country. And we must collaborate with partners to fill gaps within the food system to increase access to nutritious, culturally relevant prepared meals to the communities who need them most.

FareStart aims to lead by example and must continue to become the equitable employer we expect of other organizations and partners. This means furthering progress in removing disparities within our own organization, including staffing and programming. As we move forward in our DEI journey, we must ensure everything we do advances race equity, and we must continue to build connections and collaborate with communities.

Next year marks FareStart’s 30th anniversary. This strategic plan builds on our incredible history to ensure we continue to innovate to meet the evolving needs of our communities while creating transformational change. This work would not have been possible without the input of our volunteer strategic planning committee, the Board of Directors, staff, our partners and supporters. Here’s to continuing to move forward – together.

With gratitude,

Angela Dunleavy