Volunteer of the Month: Hannah Brown
November 4, 2022
Foodwise’s Volunteer of the Month program recognizes the dedication and work of some of our most active volunteers. 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 volunteer opportunities here and internships here.
San Francisco native Hannah Brown has been a regular farmers market shopper and just recently became an active Foodwise volunteer. She recounts, “I found myself in between jobs this summer and, wanting to move my career towards food and climate, looked to volunteer for an organization in the industry. So I came to Foodwise, and I’m so glad I did!” Since then she’s been lending a hand at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market with our Foodwise Kids program during the week and the Information Booth on Saturdays.
“Hannah has been supporting Foodwise Kids consistently,” says Nesley Rojo, Foodwise Kids and Families Manager. “She has been really great connecting with the vendors and the farmers and learning about the produce, introducing the students to the sellers, and making sure the students are engaged. The students really enjoy working with her. She’s friendly and approachable with a positive personality, and we’re so grateful that she’s been able to help!
Deven Okry, Assistant Market Manager adds, “Hannah has been amazing to work with at the Information Booth, where she is always pleasant and super supportive with transactions and helping customers. It’s great getting to know Hannah more over the different shifts, as well as sharing the produce and vendors we like in the market.” Meet Hannah.
Foodwise: Where does your interest in food come from?
Hannah: I grew up going to the farmers market, carrying overflowing bags of California produce, and cooking big, big meals with my dad. I can’t say I always ate what we cooked. My pickiness often got in the way, but I learned that food is love regardless. Luckily I’ve gotten over my pickiness and now cook my own big, big meals for my friends and loved ones, just as my dad did, and still does.
Foodwise: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering for Foodwise?
Hannah: Outside of volunteering with Foodwise, I read and walk in Golden Gate Park, cook big dinners for my friends, work in marketing and, honestly, try to get 8 hours of sleep. The pandemic reminded me that community is what matters most and that food is a way to foster it, even if from afar. During the height of the pandemic, I was lucky to work from home, which inspired me to cook even more than before. I also lived with my best friend who encouraged all of my cooking, and gave honest feedback that we judiciously tracked in a spreadsheet, and still made meals for friends, even when we were eating six feet apart outside.
Foodwise: Why are you choosing to volunteer with us at this time?
Hannah: Having grown up in San Francisco, I’ve known about Foodwise and been a customer of the markets for years. When I found myself in between jobs this summer, I realized it’d be the perfect place to engage with and give back to my community, while exploring my interests in food, agriculture and climate. I love helping out with the Foodwise Kids classes, seeing their excitement when they try new fruits and veggies, and at the info booth. It’s so much fun to connect with the community.
Foodwise: What does the farmers market community mean to you?
Hannah: I feel grateful to the farmers and producers. We’re so lucky to have access to such delicious and varied foods in California, and it’s all because of them.
Foodwise: Any favorite farmers market foods or home meal prep tips you want to share?
Hannah: It’s always a party when it’s tomato season.