Community Holiday Party Beneficiary Spotlight: A Just Harvest
A Just Harvest
A Just Harvest, formerly the Good News Community Kitchen, began as a ministry of the Good News Community Church in 1983. Initially, meals were served a few days each week in the “North of Howard” neighborhood of Rogers Park, on the furthest northern border of Chicago. Despite its name, the AJH is more than just a “soup kitchen.” Today, with the help of more than 30 partnering congregations and community organizations, AJH is the highest capacity community kitchen in the metropolitan Chicago area. Through The Community Kitchen program, AJH serves a hot nutritious meal 365 days per year. Last year, more than 2,500 volunteers worked with AJH staff to serve 56,000 hot meals to an average of 120 patrons per night. Together with community residents and congregational partners, patrons engage in advocacy that addresses the core issues that contribute to hunger and poverty.
Because of the founding relationship and historic ties, the Good News Community Church shares a space with AJH, and views AJH as one of its primary ministries. Many church members are served by the AJH, through meals, and volunteer in serving at the AJH. Good News Community Church members participated in and helped guide the AJH through its transition from solely a church ministry to an independent 501(c)(3) organization with its own governing board, fundraising and extensive network of volunteers. The Good News Community Church is extremely proud of the fine work the AJH has done and continues to do in the community.
AJH oversees 3 major programs, including Northside P.O.W.E.R (People Organized to Work, Educate and Restore), The Community Kitchen, and The Genesis Project. Northside P.O.W.E.R was created in 2004 as a result of a strategic planning process undertaken by A Just Harvest’s board of directors. This program is an institution-based people’s power organization that represents AJH’s movement to go beyond feeding community residents, and address the causes of hunger and poverty, specifically in the areas of housing and food justice. AJH’s The Genesis Project, represents the community and economic development work of A Just Harvest, as this program seeks to create meaningful opportunities for the community and addresses five major areas, including: Creating an Aquaponics Social Enterprise, Just BITES (Business Incubators that Encourage Sustainability), Implementing the Micro-lending Program and Further strengthening our Community-Based Learning Partnerships, and Developing a Food Justice Task Force.
As the Holiday Season presents an even greater challenge for those in need, your donation to our Community Holiday Party’s canned food drive will support A Just Harvest’s mission to fight poverty and hunger in the Rogers Park and greater Chicago community by providing nutritious meals daily, while cultivating community and economic development and organizing across racial, cultural and socio-economic lines in order to create a more just society.
For more information on A Just Harvest, visit: http://www.ajustharvest.org/.