Establishing FamilyWorks’ New Mission, Vision, & Values

This post is the first in a series introducing FamilyWorks’ new Mission, Vision, and Values. Check back each week to read interviews from staff and board members highlighting each of our values, and click here to view a collection of currently published posts in this series.

With Thoughtfulness and Intention:

When I joined the FamilyWorks team nearly four years ago, I was so proud to be a part of an organization with such a rich history, both through the impact of programs on our community and our beautiful and engaging relationship with our neighbors. Those early days were such an education for me on how much our volunteers valued their work, how our neighbors played an integral role in rallying community support, and how the participants of our programs saw FamilyWorks as a trusted partner and friend alongside their journeys.

As we spent most of 2022 and some of 2023 on a community-driven strategic planning process for our future direction, it was so important to make sure that these experiences and this rich history were reflected in our new mission, vision, and values, as well as all the ways FamilyWorks has embraced its future as a nimble, innovative, and equity-focused force for social change.

One of the things about our strategic planning process that I’m most proud of are all the voices that guided us along the way. The strategic planning committee reflected an even balance of staff and FamilyWorks’ Board members. We gathered the wisdom and input of nearly 150 participants of our programs, as well as close to 100 volunteers, donors, and funders. We ensured surveys and focus groups that informed our future direction were multilingual and included interpreters as part of the facilitation process. The embodied wisdom of our community was reflected at every stage.

The committee channeled this into our mission, vision, values exercise. We talked about the words our community used to describe FamilyWorks and the words that felt most reflective of our purpose. We reflected on the critical importance of justice as the engine of our work. We got clearer on who our primary partners are – the families we serve. After several drafts bounced back and forth between the committee and each of our FamilyWorks’ teammates, we finalized our mission, vision, and values, which take center stage in our strategic plan for the future.

At this stage of our work, we’re unequivocal in centering each program and service around families who are raising children and are furthest away from racial, economical, and food justice. This is our guiding light and the lens through which we will make and inform our future decisions, partnerships, and practices. We will create opportunities and forums to have even more community engagement through an advisory group of the families we serve, putting participants in the driver’s seat as eye-to-eye partners in our work that will make FamilyWorks’ advocacy and service delivery more inclusive, more responsive, and impactful.

I am excited about all the ways our mission, vision, and values empower FamilyWorks to move into this next stage of our work with thoughtfulness and intention – with our community’s wisdom building the path.

Mission Statement

FamilyWorks partners with families to alleviate food insecurity and ensure they have resources and support to overcome systemic barriers to equity, build stable communities, and thrive.


FamilyWorks envisions vibrant, equitable neighborhoods strengthened by resources designed by and for families furthest from justice.


Dignity and Empowerment

We believe in treating others with respect and humanity in every facet of our programs and services. We design our programs to emphasize an individual’s ability to make their own choices and determinations in life.

Justice and Anti-Racism

We advocate for the families we serve to have freedom from the social and economic systems that oppress our communities. We are committed to actively changing policies, behaviors, and beliefs that perpetuate racist ideas and actions.


We are committed to adapting to what’s best in service of our mission instead of what we’ve always done before.


We center feelings of joy and positivity in our relationships with the families we serve.

Participants as Partners

We design programs and policies with input and leadership from the communities and families we serve. We prioritize strong and equitable relationships with participants, partners, volunteers, and funders.