Volunteer of the Month: Brandon Hansen

December 24, 2020

CUESA’s Volunteer of the Month program recognizes the dedication and work of some of our most active volunteers, including our interns. CUESA relies on volunteers to help fulfill our mission to cultivate a sustainable food system. Most of our regular volunteer opportunities are currently on hold with the exception of farmers market roles. Learn more about volunteering here and sign up for our next volunteer orientation on January 13, 2021, here.

San Francisco native Brandon Hansen came from the hospitality world when he attended CUESA’s online volunteer orientation in August. Lucky for CUESA, he was willing to pivot and be involved with many different projects as a CUESA intern from August through December. He supported the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market every Saturday at the handwashing station, Info Booth, and Farmers Market Box program.

He was also the sole collector of over 800 pounds of produce and prepared food donations from sellers at Mission Community Market for the SF Community Fridge. He assisted with the office administration of the first semester of the virtual Foodwise Teens program, and “learned everything there is to learn about running a fundraiser from the unforgettable virtual Sunday Supper: A Farm to Home Feast, as well as all manner of Excel and Salesforce work that I never imagined I would be capable of doing.”

“Having Brandon help us out for the last few months in the market has been great,” says Operations Manager Andrea Akers. “He’s always willing to jump right in and get his hands dirty. He’s definitely become a part of the CUESA family, and we’ve been very grateful for him. I’m excited that he’s also willing to volunteer with us in the future. Many thanks to Brandon for being an amazing intern and friend.” Meet Brandon.

CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?

Brandon: I have always loved food. No one else in my family had interest in cooking, so I kind of used that as a way of finding my own identity, and I have always used food as an entry point to a new culture or new interest. Honestly, I just love to eat!

CUESA: Why are you choosing to intern with us at this time?

Brandon: The start of the COVID-19 pandemic marked my last semester of my Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management degree at City College of San Francisco. Originally I planned on interning with a hotel or restaurant, but that became much more complicated, not to mention a health risk. I had nearly lost all hope that I was going to be able to finish my degree by the time I had planned when I got an invitation to volunteer for the farmers market. I suddenly realized what a unique and useful experience working with CUESA could be, and I am incredibly happy to have fallen into an amazing organization.

CUESA: What does the farmers market and CUESA community mean to you?

Brandon: I already loved everything about the farmers market, and now that I have spent time with CUESA, I feel a very close bond to the market and everyone there. I have been fortunate to get to know everyone in the staff that runs the markets and I have to say that they have all been truly wonderful to me and have made my experience there all the more important.