Introducing FareStart’s New Vision, Mission & Values

November 13, 2019

Dear FareStart Supporters,

Earlier this year when FareStart leadership began a new five-year strategic planning process, we knew that we could not look toward the future without first firmly anchoring ourselves in our organization’s purpose. This meant reflecting deeply on our vision, mission and values, which serve as key guardrails for our work.

Our mission statement had not been substantially updated in more than 20 years and, while our core work remains the same, a lot has changed in that time for FareStart and our communities.

As Seattle has grown, so has the number of adults and youth experiencing poverty and homelessness. Our job training programs are more relevant than ever. In recent years, we have expanded our training, adding Youth Culinary and Foodservice Apprenticeship programs, which have led to new successes and learnings. We have also strengthened our life skills and wrap-around support services – such as housing, mental health counseling and substance abuse support groups – all critical ingredients to students achieving long-term success.

Our collective impact expanded with the launch of Catalyst Kitchens in 2011, our national consulting and membership program. Today, FareStart is working with organizations across North America to lead a movement in ending poverty and joblessness.

Finally, we have evolved in our understanding of how institutional and structural racism, discrimination and other biases perpetuate homelessness, poverty and other injustices. When FareStart launched its diversity, equity and inclusion initiative in early 2019it became impossible not to reflect on how we go about our work to ensure that students, volunteers, staff and supporters have a strong sense of belonging within our walls and in the larger community.

All of this reflection and knowledge helped influence the evolution of our vision, mission and values.

Rest assured, we will continue to focus on job training – and food will remain a central tool of our work. However, we must do more. You will see this reflected in the words we chose, which in some cases are aspirational. Our intent in this next chapter of FareStart is to address the root causes of poverty in order to create powerful, real change.

We are excited to share with you our new vision, mission and values:

Vision: Every individual has the opportunity to thrive in an equitable and just world.

Mission: FareStart transforms lives, disrupts poverty and nourishes communities through food, life skills and job training.

Values: We will deliver on our mission by living our values.

  • Acceptance: We build relationships based on the belief that the past informs but does not dictate the future.
  • Respect: We treat everyone with dignity, regardless of background or differences. We actively listen and seek first to understand. We are honest, even when it is difficult.
  • Openness: We create a culture of trust through transparency and open communication. We are open to new ideas.
  • Collaboration: Contribute positively to strengthen the organization and our impact through teamwork and through partnerships.
  • Accountability: We are responsible to each other, to our community and ourselves. We are committed to rigorous evaluation and making fiscally responsible decisions that align with our mission.
  • Inclusion: We provide a community of belonging, regardless of background. We value and seek out diversity.
  • Growth: We are a learning organization. We invest in continuous improvement and growth.

We look forward to sharing our five-year strategic plan in early 2020. Thank you for your continued support and belief in our work.

With gratitude,

Ken Hart, Board Chair       Angela Dunleavy-Stowell, CEO