Intern Spotlight: Heidi Ford and Christine Kim
January 26, 2024
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 June 1, 2024, here.
In December, fall interns Heidi Ford and Christine Kim wrapped up a season of generous support for Foodwise Kids. Heidi’s semester followed her spring serving as a Foodwise Teens intern; both immersed her in the full breadth of Foodwise youth education programs. Westmont College student Christine Kim brought her previous experience working with children and also lent a hand with Saturday cooking demonstrations and other activities.
“Heidi and Christine helped us host over 650 students at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this fall,” says Foodwise Kids Manager Nesley Rojo. “They also did a great job leading small groups during our 5 follow-up cooking classes at Hillcrest Elementary School. By the end of the semester they led classroom games and activities during down time and on boarded our volunteers.”
“Heidi came with high regards from Foodwise Teens and did just as amazing in Foodwise Kids. Her Spanish skills were perfect with some of our English learners. Her kindness was so appreciated by our team, and students who remembered her and loved working with her time and time again!” She adds, “Christine was such a special addition to the Foodwise Kids team; she is a natural at working with students, making sure they are always having fun and staying curious!”
Education Director Tiffany Chung chimes in, “Christine was a pleasure to work with! She was always eager to experience different aspects of our programming and worked with us during garden greening sessions and cooking demos in addition to her Foodwise Kids support. She was quick to learn and identify what was needed, and we hope to see her back one day!”
Meet Christine and Heidi.
Foodwise: Where does your food interest come from?
Heidi: I grew up cooking and tending to our garden with my dad. He taught me everything I know about good food.
Christine: My interest in food starts from my mom’s cooking. I always loved the see and smell and different spices and foods she would make for me. Being a Korean-American, it is important to me that I can taste the authentic Korean spices in my meals. I love being able to taste different dishes and learning about other people’s cultures through the love of food. Being a sociology major, I think food has become another aspect where I passionately believe that every human deserves food that is healthy and nutritious. I started to ask questions like, “How can we provide sustainable and nutritious food for everyone?”, “Why is it so hard for people to shop sustainably?” Through these questions, I was able to become more interested in the food/food industry.
Foodwise: What do you do when you aren’t interning for Foodwise?
Heidi: Exploring bookstores, going on walks, and cooking, of course.
Christine: I love to do yoga/pilates with my friends, thrift at flea markets, and explore the city by going to any free event. I’m also interning at Up on Top which is a free after-school program for low-income families, which has been very difficult, but rewarding. We walk the kids from their schools to the Tenderloin Recreation, Center where we get to play Uno, color, watch movies, and scooter around!
Foodwise: Why did you choose to intern with us at this time?
Heidi: I enjoy seeing youth connect with their food in a deeper way. I know I used to get really excited when my school got to go to farms for field trips, and I wanted to share that with them.
Christine: Currently, I’m still a second-year student at Westmont College. I felt that Foodwise would truly let me grow and be able to try different tasks that would make me more a well-rounded person/student. It’s the time when I can educate myself on different topics; I was definitely helping out with the educational programs, but I was being educated too. Being a Foodwise intern has let me deep dive into my interests and taught me critical skills as I move forward with my education and career. I learned a lot more about myself too especially in a work setting. Foodwise truly is an eye-opening experience that continually challenges me to partake in new aspects, while also letting me enjoy myself.
Foodwise: What has been most rewarding about your experience with Foodwise?
Heidi: Getting so many kids to try new fruits and veggies, and often, even enjoy them!
Christine: It’s truly so rewarding to see kids’ love for one fruit or vegetable change after a taste on the field trip. A lot of the kids will come in and be very picky about the fruit or vegetable that they will to eat, but after some convincing, they realize that the fruits and vegetables are very yummy. Especially when they haven’t even tried that certain fruit or vegetable and now they know to look out for it! It’s also encouraging that, even though sometimes there is a language barrier, the kids and I are able to still connect over how delicious the different fruits and veggies are. It’s so heart-warming to see how food connects all of us on a global scale, not just in San Francisco.
Foodwise: What does Foodwise mean to you?
Heidi: Foodwise means sharing food with community.
Christine: Interning with Foodwise has been such a core part of my college experience. I’ve got to meet so many great people including the staff at Foodwise, farmer market vendors, and even other interns/volunteers. I have not stopped learning since my first day, always trying to pick up different skills and knowledge at each opportunity. Foodwise is such a great community that cares for one another through the love of food. Every program/event is designed so that people with a variety of backgrounds are able to connect and share food and knowledge with each other. I can always trust Foodwise to prioritize diversity in food and a commitment to giving people equal access to good food.
Foodwise: Any favorite farmers market foods or home meal prep tips you want to share?
Heidi: Not a tip, but I think delicata squash is underrated.
Christine: Some of my favorite farmers market foods are the stone fruits at Rojas Family Farms, orange chocolate chip scone at Batter Bakery, and of course, Proyecto Diaz Coffee. I also love using the classic kimchi at Volcano Kimchi and making kimchi fried rice!