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Values and Foundation


As an organization, the Center for Hunger-Free Communities values and is committed to the following:

  • Authenticity Authenticity is being true to your own identity and values regardless of outside pressures to conform. It is being honest with yourself, taking responsibility for mistakes, and ensuring alignment between values, ideals, words, and actions.
  • Dignity Dignity is acknowledging and embracing the fact that all people are inherently valuable and worthy of respect and reverence. It is shown by listening to and respecting the rights and choices of each person and community.
  • Healing Healing is moving through an active process of reckoning with the past and looking to the future with hope. It is not a linear or complete process and is both internal and collective.
  • Joy Joy is the feeling of happiness, pleasure, jubilation, appreciation, satisfaction, and abundance. It is evoked by well-being and success and inspires creativity and care.
  • JusticeJustice is breaking down the complex systems designed to marginalize people and communities by identifying the policies and institutions that perpetuate inequity, abolishing those systems, and seeking accountability in addressing harm done. It is ensuring economic, political, and social rights to all members of our communities.
  • People-centerednessPeople-centeredness is a collaborative way of acting, thinking, and being that puts people and relationships at the center of all decisions and actions. It embraces dignity, care, compassion, respect, and empathy at its core.
  • Rebellious Action - Rebellious action is challenging the status quo, questioning the way things have been done in the past, and moving forward with innovative approaches to thinking and doing. It is confronting established systems that have marginalized and oppressed communities and individuals to advocate for political and social change that really matters in people’s lives.

Hunger-Free Community

What exactly is a “hunger-free community?”

A hunger-free community is a place where no one, no matter what their age or social standing, is worried about having enough money to buy healthy food for themselves and their families.

But a hunger-free community is much more than that. It is a place where:

  • Someone who is struggling knows they can get help without feeling shame or judgement
  • Agencies charged with helping those in need provide assistance with transparency and accountability and always seek the meaningful participation and partnership of those who they serve
  • There is no discrimination
  • People are positively connected beyond the usual social boundaries of race and ethnicity, class, social status, disability, age, and neighborhood

A hunger-free community can be a workplace, neighborhood, network of people, university, hospital, or city. It can be any group of people that works together to ensure all families are economically secure and have a voice in policies that affect their lives.

These ideals form the basis of our work at the Center for Hunger-Free Communities. If a person is involuntarily hungry and has no money to feed themselves or their family, they are not free.

Foundational Knowledge

Below are the theories, models, concepts, and frameworks with which the Center and its work are aligned. They create an academic foundation and provide knowledge and guidance in developing the Center’s projects and actions.

  • Abolitionism
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Healing-centered Engagement (Shawn Ginwright)
  • Liberation Psychology (Martin Baro)
  • Multiracial Feminist Theory
  • Participatory Action Research
  • People-centered Approaches
  • Pluralism
  • Psychopolitical Validity and Wellness (Isaac Prilletensky)
  • Popular Education (Paulo Freire)
  • Self-efficacy Theory (Albert Bandura)
  • Shared Leadership
  • Social-ecological Model of Health (Urie Bronfenbrenner)
  • Theory of Personal Power (Janet Hagberg)
  • Unconditional Positive Regard (Carl Rogers)

The Sanctuary Model®

The Sanctuary Model was developed by Sandra Bloom, PhD, as framework for creating a trauma-informed organizational culture and approach for providing clinical care in mental health settings. The Center has adapted this model to fit our organizational setting and research to ensure that we maintain an environment that is supportive, healing and safe as we work with participants and families, many of whom have experienced trauma and violence. To this end, the Center commits to the seven core promises of the Sanctuary Model in our work (both in and out of the office setting):

  1. Non-Violence
  2. Emotional Intelligence
  3. Social Learning
  4. Open Communication
  5. Democracy
  6. Social Responsibility
  7. Growth and Change