Forward STEPS

Not having access to food is not the only factor that keeps people in the cycle of generational poverty. Second Harvest recognizes that rising out of this cycle requires both change to one’s personal lifestyle and way of thinking, as well as to larger governmental, educational, and corporate systems. Through Forward STEPS, Second Harvest offers support and education to achieve just that.

Forward STEPS is a community learning initiative that consists of several unique programs, and situates itself within the reality that giving away food is not enough. Forward STEPS helps members of our community learn about poverty as well as learn to break out of poverty

Learning About Poverty

Poverty is a reality for many individuals and families, but unless you have experienced it firsthand, it is difficult to realize the depth and complexity of the situation faced by many in our community. To achieve a better understanding of the challenges facing our under-resourced neighbors, Second Harvest hosts The Community Food Experience and Poverty Simulation. These unique, enlightening trainings help individuals grasp what life is like when faced with a lack of resources.

Community Food Experience

This 90-minute interactive simulation has participants carefully balance a tight budget and stay within nutritional guidelines while facing simulated real-life obstacles. To those who have never had to come up with a highly economical meal plan, the experience can be eye-opening.

Poverty Simulation

The poverty simulation is a powerful, transformative 3-hour experience in which participants assume the identity of a financially-struggling citizen and must make ends meet in a simulated society. This experience offers a wealth of insight into the perspective of the food-insecure, allowing people from all walks of life to better understand life without privilege.

You can request one of these trainings for your organization, class, or workplace, contact Carol Bradshaw at | 765-287-8698 x 117. You can find upcoming public events here.

Learning to Break Out of Poverty

Second Harvest also offers educational courses for those looking to make lasting changes to their financial lifestyle. Getting Ahead takes a relationship-based approach to empowerment, strategically designed to work alongside under-resourced working families as they forge a path to long-term stability.

Getting Ahead

This program allows participants to analyze and break the cycle of generational poverty that’s affecting their lives. The course provides a safe, supportive environment in which these issues can be discussed. Program graduates leave with a sense of newfound confidence that they can navigate the dominant culture, change their mindset, and forge a path to success.

If you or someone you  know someone who could benefit from Getting Ahead,
Get Started Here

Staying Ahead

We support Getting Ahead graduates with Staying Ahead. This program ensures graduates are staying on the right path with motivational workshops, networking events, and an ongoing relationship with a community ally as well as with other Getting Ahead graduates. This network of mutual accountability and reciprocity gives graduates the best chance of staying ahead.

To learn more about Staying Ahead, contact Carol Bradshaw at | 765-287-8698 x 117


The Ally Program partners community members with graduates of the Getting Ahead program. The Ally Program allows investigators to establish a support system and build resources with the assistance of allies from the community. It also offers the opportunity for community members to become more aware, empathetic, and sensitive to the impact poverty has in our community.

If you have expertise to share,
Become a Getting Ahead Ally

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