Volunteer of the Month: Richard Bernstein

May 25, 2023

Richard Bernstein holds a purple cauliflower in front of farmers market tents

Foodwise’s Volunteer of the Month program recognizes the dedication and work of some of our most active volunteers. Foodwise relies on volunteers 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. You can also sign up for our next volunteer orientation on June 3, 2023, here.

Richard Bernstein has regularly lent a hand with Foodwise Kids and the occasional Family Cook Night over the past year. Through Foodwise Kids field trips, which require a minimum 4-6 volunteers every Tuesday and Thursday morning, he uses his VTO (volunteer time off) from Salesforce to fill a very important and fun role of guiding our students to appreciate local produce.

He shares, “I love food, having worked in the restaurant and food distribution businesses. So marrying my love of food with teaching kids about the joys of tasty vegetables seemed like a great way to support the community. And then getting to see kids realize how good vegetables taste is fun!”

“Working with Richard for the last year has been such a treat!” says Foodwise Kids Coordinator Damaris Bonner. “He always came through with a smile and a love for sharing the joys of food with the kids. We’re sad that he moved from the Bay, but new adventures await, and I wish him nothing but the best.” Meet Richard.

Foodwise: Where does your interest in food come from?

Richard: My mom always cooked when I was growing up. Then through my travels, my love of food grew so much that I went to culinary school and worked in the industry for many years.

Foodwise: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering for Foodwise? And how has the pandemic impacted you?

Richard: Aside from working, I love to be outdoors as much as possible, and I love cooking at home. The pandemic actually gave me more time for both of those things.

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

Richard: I volunteer to support a cause that aligns to things I love.

Foodwise: What does Foodwise mean to you? 

Richard: Helping to educate the community to the benefits of buying local, especially for food. Local is better and fresher and supports the local community 

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

Richard: I love the porchetta sandwich from Roli Roti! And vegetables are delicious, and even more so when you buy them from the farmers market.

Foodwise Kids group holding produce