Changing the politics of hunger requires changing the way each of us thinks about hunger, poverty, and the responsibilities of government. Just Harvest's community education work is designed to debunk myths, deepen understanding, and mobilize communities to action. Complacency and ignorance are the biggest obstacles in the fight against poverty and hunger. We reach out through media appearances, factsheets, brochures, newsletters, our blog, poverty simulations, speaking engagements, and special events. Our message is tailored to the different populations we reach:
- To low-income people, we educate about the rights, responsibilities, and realities of the public safety-net. Misconceptions, prejudice, and fear keep many low-income people from participating in the programs they are eligible for, and hesitant to demand better public policies.
- To students & social service professionals, we teach about the realities of poverty in America and the struggles that low-income people face in navigating safety-net bureaucracies. Along with clients we share first-hand experience of the system, what kind of reform is needed, and how advocacy efforts can make a difference. We aim to overcome stereotypes about clients, and help people discover their unique roles in the struggle against injustice.
- To the broader community, we teach about the causes and consequences of poverty and hunger, and what each person can do to make a difference. We help to deconstruct damaging stereotypes, bridge cultural divides, and foster community understanding. Hunger and poverty are not abstract or peripheral issues. We all have a responsibility to learn what is happening in our own community, and to take action to end injustice.