“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish;
and you have fed him for a lifetime”— Author unknown
This story about one person sharing his time and knowledge to help another person learn the skills of self-sufficiency
has deep roots in our society. It reflects the power of one individual reaching out to address another individual’s
At another level this story invites us to consider the power of a community learning the skills and developing the
capacity to “fish” together to nourish all in our local communities. The organizations that currently work to ease
hunger among us do as much as they can, and still there are increasing numbers of our neighbors who fall through
the net woven by non-profits and government. We also know that many community members are tirelessly doing
their part working through churches, schools and local hunger-relief organizations to help fill the gaps, yet the need
still continues. These challenging times require us to link all efforts, share what we know and give our time to weave
a bigger and stronger net that will hold the abundance that can nourish us all.
We believe that the solution to hunger and nutrition lies in localized networks weaving their efforts together.
- All resources (time, talent, treasure) needed to fill the gaps in the provision of nutrition reside within diversity
- Working locally allows neighborhoods and communities to shape what works best for them.
- Networks can provide new ways for busy people to make an important impact without the overwhelming weight of taking on a big new challenge alone.
- They are synergistic; even small amounts of time contribute to producing something that is greater than the sum of its parts.
- They help us recognize and use specialized skill sets.
- They are grounded in the fundamental value of reciprocity.
- They assume that everyone has a gift to give and is part of a network that can extend that gift to where it is needed.
- It is possible to weave these networks tightly enough so that no one lacks the nourishment they need to live healthy and productive lives.
- When communities develop their networks to care for each other, their capacity to “fish” together expands to nourish the community in more and more ways.
Principles: Cooperation, Creating Results, Reciprocity, Synergy, Member-driven Decision Making, Inclusion, and Concern for Community
Vision: Together we can provide an abundance of nourishment for our communities.
Mission: Support locally-owned solutions to fill the existing gaps that leave people hungry by weaving together the efforts, stories, and ideas of individual and organizational networks. Provide the skills, tools and resources to sustain community-driven problem solving and network weaving over time.
Nourishing Networks in the news & online:
- Direct Community action on behalf of Nourishing Networks [Seattle Journalism Commons, January 15, 2012]
- Building a News Oasis to end hunger in Puget Sound [Seattle Journalism Commons, January 12, 2012]
- News Oasis/Nourishing Networks January 9 Meeting [Seattle Journalism Commons, January 11, 2012]
- Nourishing Networks [The Seattle Foundation, December 9, 2011]
- Center Co-hosts Thanksgiving Summit to Develop Nourishing Networks [The Center for Ethical Leadership, December 2011]
- Hopelink – Nourishing Networks: Forum by Linda Benson [St. Thomas Online Coffee Hour Blog, November 20, 2011]