Volunteer of the Month: Kirin Basra

May 28, 2020

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. Most of our regular volunteer opportunities are currently on hold with the exception of farmers market roles. Learn more about volunteering here.

For eight weeks, CUESA’s Farmers Market Boxes have been helped our community safely access fresh, local food through contactless curbside pickup during the pandemic, while providing much-needed income for farmers who have lost significant restaurant business. Operating this program takes significant effort from CUESA staff, and it could not happen without the support of our dedicated volunteers. Nearly every Saturday since April, volunteer Kirin Basra has been overseeing the CUESA Farmers Market Box pickup station, supporting our market operations team in getting over 200 boxes and other pre-ordered items safely to shoppers. “It gives me an opportunity to give back and support the vision of the market, our farmers, and the collective community,” says Kirin.

“Our entire market team is so grateful for all of Kirin’s help as we have figured out how to make our Veggie Box curbside pick-up system a reality,” says Director of Operations Lulu Meyer. “She was there with us on day one as we navigated this new process and figured out the challenges. Her calm demeanor and methodical approach to organizing the pickup booth has been so incredibly appreciated over the last few weeks. She is always poised and ready when the rush hits, and has helped us train a crew of amazing fellow volunteers to make the whole thing work. I can’t thank Kirin enough for how valuable her help has been to the CUESA staff and market operations in particular.” Meet Kirin.

CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?

Kirin: My interest in food started at an early age. I’m from a family of farmers. My parents always instilled the principle that food is the pillar that unites people.

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

Kirin: I’m a food scientist and develop products for the health-conscious consumer. I’m also studying Ayurveda and hope to develop wellness/nutrition programming geared toward healing the mind, body, and spirit at local community centers once I complete my studies.

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

Kirin: During this time, it’s ever more critical to support our farmers and the market community.  I cherish the market’s vibrancy, people, and mission.

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

Kirin: A place of connection, equality, and access to nutritious, locally sourced food.

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

Kirin: I know this isn’t a food or a meal prep tip, but my favorite thing about the farmers market are the flowers. They’re always colorful, and I enjoy seeing the types of flowers people select.