The original Food for Thought (F4T) began in the 90’s and many groups continued meeting for several years. The current program began with a pilot in 2010 and is now offered twice each year.
Since 2013 F4T has partnered with other organizations to host Community Conversations which are usually one time events that focus on a particular issue. In fact, it is becoming quite common for groups to want to host a “Food for Thought” Dialogue. And with over 50 volunteer facilitators trained, F4T is truly making a difference in Colorado Springs.
We follow the dialogue model of Everyday Democracy, a national organization that assists communities to organize around issues that are important to them.
F4T is NOT a program with action outcomes, but rather, a program that models civil discourse or respectful conversation, a program that provides an opportunity to hear opinions different than yours. It may even challenge your listening skills.
Groups are made up of 10-12 people and the discussion is guided by a set of ground rules that each group agrees to and a trained facilitator who remains neutral. Neutral means that the facilitator does not share his or her opinions about the topics, personal information or experiences, but instead helps create a climate where participants feel comfortable sharing theirs. Groups meet for 4 additional gatherings and at the end of those sessions, each group can decide if they would like to continue on their own, without a trained facilitator.