Volunteer of the Month: Jasmine Hormati

July 7, 2016

CUESA’s Volunteer of the Month program recognizes the dedication and work of some of our most active volunteers. CUESA relies on volunteers to help with education programs, special events, public outreach, and other activities that help fulfill our mission to cultivate a sustainable food system. Learn more about volunteering and sign up here.

This month we recognize one of our volunteer interns. CUESA hosts interns throughout the year in all areas of the organization. Contact Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator Cindy Mendoza at if you are interested in interning.

Combining her food studies background with her interest in sharing food knowledge, Jasmine Hormati (above, left) served as CUESA’s Farmers Market Education Intern this spring. She helped run exhibits in CUESA’s Food Shed on Saturdays, and researched and helped produce our latest animal welfare guide. She continued her volunteer time with us at the interactive education stations at CUESA’s Summer Celebration.

“Jasmine was a pleasure to work with this past spring!” says Education Program Coordinator Tessa Kappe (above, right). “She was ever reliable, passionate, and enthusiastic. She was a smiling face every Saturday morning, always the first one on the scene and ready to engage shoppers at the Food Shed. Also, how could we forget her appearance as our very own goat during Goat Festival, or a bumble bee in our ‘Buzz on Bees’ Food Shed exhibit? We are grateful to have had her on the team and are excited for all of her adventures to come!” Meet Jasmine.

CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?

Jasmine: My interest in food comes from my stomach! Just kidding…sort of. I studied food and our food system when I transferred to UC Berkeley. When I started to learn about the countless problems with our food system and the health outcomes it resulted in, I knew I had found the right place for me. I became very interested in urban gardening, nutrition, and public health as they all are interrelated. I never would have thought that I would find a passion and career in food, but I’m glad I did!

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

Jasmine: A lot! I completed the Nutrition Assistant Program through CCSF by interning at 18 Reasons. Their mission is “empowering our community with confidence and creativity to buy, cook, and eat good food every day,” and they offer to low-income communities a series of six free Cooking Matters classes focusing on cooking and nutrition. It’s a really great program that teaches people how they can make healthier choices while providing them with practical skills they can use at home. It’s been really great to work with them, and I hope to continue even after I finish my internship.

I also started a new job as the Garden and Nutrition Coordinator at the Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center, whose mission is to enhance the lives of the people in our community. I am really fortunate to have job that combines two of my interests: nutrition and urban gardening. I am currently teaching children how to garden and working to expand our program to other Tel Hi participants and the community.

When I’m not working or interning, I am exploring beautiful San Francisco! I enjoy hiking, meeting new people, playing board games, having good food, and occasionally watching my favorite TV shows like Game of Thrones and Jane the Virgin.

CUESA: What was your favorite part about interning with CUESA?

Jasmine: The people, hands down. From the amazing staff to the wonderful volunteers, there is always someone great to meet and talk to who also cares about food, farmers, education, and sustainability. I also enjoyed talking to the curious Saturday market shoppers who stopped by the Food Shed because I not only shared my knowledge with them about food labels or bees, but I also learned a great deal from them. I feel so lucky to have met so many great people while interning with CUESA and hope to continue those friendships and conversations. And I have to give a special thank-you to Tessa Kappe, who offered me this internship! I could not have asked for a better supervisor who inspires me every day.

CUESA: Do you have an insider market tip or a favorite produce item at the market right now?

Jasmine: Two words: stone fruit. This is my favorite season of the year because of all the variety when it comes to the fruit. Insider market tip: check out the Food Shed on Saturdays! There is always something to learn and great conversations to be had!