Intern Spotlight: Claire Zavetoski & Piper Rea

December 22, 2023

A collage of two images. On the left: Two people, including an intern, Claire, pose with a table and computer in the foreground. On the right: two interns, Piper and Christine, pose in front of an arrangement of fall produce and flowers at Foodwise Sundy Supper.
Left: Rebecca Crawbuck and Claire; Right: Piper and Christine

Foodwise relies on volunteers and interns to help with education programs, and other activities that help fulfill our mission to grow thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn more about internships here and volunteer opportunities here. You can also sign up for our next volunteer orientation on January 10, 2024, here.

This fall, college students Claire Zavetoski and Piper Rea joined Foodwise primarily as event interns. They supported the preparation and execution of Sunday Supper, our annual fundraiser to support our food access and education programs. “Claire and Piper were a wonderful part of the team,” says Partnerships and Events Manager Rebecca Crawbuck. “We have a small fundraising team, so their support was a key part of the hard work that goes into this important fundraiser. I’m so glad that they chose to spend their fall semester with us!”

She shares, “Claire’s main responsibility was to manage guest registration for Sunday Supper. This is a big component of the event, and she took it on with great care and attentiveness. I am very impressed at how quickly she learned and developed new skills. She brought a focused energy to the team, and we are grateful for our time with her!”

“Piper supported many facets of event preparation and was a particularly valuable asset for preparing for the live auction,” Rebecca adds. “I love her cheerful and can-do attitude! We really benefited from her willingness to support a variety of projects at Foodwise and appreciated her interest in learning about our work.” 

Meet Claire and Piper.

Foodwise: Where does your food interest come from? 

Claire: Food has been a large part of my upbringing for as long as I can remember. I grew up sitting on the kitchen counter watching my grandfather make things, from German pancakes and popovers to roasted duck. My mom loved to try new recipes and always had a yummy meal on the table when I was younger. My parents loved traveling and trying new foods. All of these things shaped me into who I am today and inspired my love for food and cooking. Now, I get to share my love for food with my two roommates by having weekly dinners for the three of us, and often more of our friends, which have become the highlights of my week. 

Piper: My interest in food definitely comes from my family. My mom taught me to cook, and once I was old enough I became more responsible for cooking for my family. It has been an interesting experience to be more creative and try out new foods as I get older and more independent.

Foodwise: What do you do when you aren’t interning for Foodwise?

Claire: When I’m not interning for Foodwise, I’m busy wrapping up my senior year at University of San Francisco, where I’m studying communications. In my free time, I enjoy cooking for my friends and experimenting with new recipes. I also love to stay active and engaged in various activities such as playing tennis and golf, relaxing at the beach, reading in the park, snowboarding in Tahoe during the winter, and embracing the outdoors in general. Additionally, I love trying new restaurants and exploring the city with my friends.

Piper: I am at San Francisco State studying communication and minoring in education. I enjoy swimming and playing water polo. I love creative hobbies, like crochet or drawing, and hanging out with friends and family.

Foodwise: Why did you choose to intern with us at this time? 

Claire: I first decided I wanted to intern with Foodwise while studying abroad. I was keen on finding a way to integrate my passion for food into meaningful work beyond just a restaurant environment. Throughout my college journey, I delved into the concepts of food justice and accessibility, recognizing their significance. The mission of Foodwise resonated deeply with me; its commitment to addressing these issues is not only important but also powerful. I wanted to actively contribute to a cause that aligned with my values, making Foodwise an ideal and meaningful choice for my internship.

Piper: I wanted to gain professional experience in events, and I really connected with the Foodwise mission. Food has the power to bring a community together, and everyone should have access to quality food.

Foodwise: What has been most rewarding about your experience with Foodwise?

Claire: The most rewarding aspect of my experience with Foodwise has been witnessing the collective dedication and hard work of our entire team in the months leading up to Sunday Supper. It was truly gratifying to see our relentless efforts culminate in the success of an extraordinary event. Witnessing the community come together to support Foodwise was incredibly fulfilling. The event served as a testament to the impact of our collaborative endeavors. It was particularly heartwarming to witness the chefs engaging with farmers they have known and cherished for years. Overall, this experience has been immensely rewarding, emphasizing the power of community support and the significance of the work Foodwise is doing.

Piper: The most rewarding about my experience with Foodwise was seeing the Sunday Supper auction happen live. I got to assist with the planning of the auction and see how much time and energy goes into it. Experiencing the energy and meeting our auction goals after so much preparation felt so rewarding.

Foodwise: What does Foodwise mean to you? 

Claire: To me, Foodwise symbolizes communities strengthened by the influence of food. I’ve had the privilege of firsthand observation, and the authenticity of Foodwise’s mission has proven to be incredibly impactful. Experiencing this immense sense of community, united by a common passion and curiosity for food, has been remarkably powerful.

Piper: Foodwise means sharing community and culture through food and to always be learning through experience.

Foodwise: Any favorite farmers market foods or home meal prep tips you want to share? 

Claire: Ramini‘s stracciatella cheese on a fresh Acme baguette and fresh tomatoes if they are in season!

Piper: Check out Proyecto Diaz for really good coffee! I always made sure to stop there when I worked on market days.