Volunteer of the Month: Stephanie Lee

October 25, 2018

Stephanie Lee

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 submit an application here.

A recent Canadian transplant, Stephanie Lee has immersed herself in volunteering with many San Francisco non-profit organizations including CUESA. She first volunteered for CUESA’s 25th Birthday Bash and joined as an events intern for the recent Sunday Supper: Farm to City Feast. This was the “perfect integration of [her] two passions – event planning and food” all for positive community impact. “Stephanie has been a crucial part of the CUESA team this fall,” says Rebecca Crawbuck, Development and Event Coordinator. “She took on the tremendous project of coordinating guest registration for Sunday Supper’s 350 attendees. Her contribution of fresh new ideas coupled with her incredible dedication directly impacted the success of our fundraiser. I admire her commitment to serving her community and have truly enjoyed working with her in the office. We have been very lucky to have her devote her time and talents to CUESA.” Meet Stephanie.

CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?
Stephanie: My mother. I may be slightly biased, but she makes the most delicious food in the world. I grew up with a big extended family and friends constantly coming in and out of our home, and my mom always made sure everyone had a smiling face and an even happier belly. Food has always been a reminder of the warmth of home and laughter of good friendships.

I studied nutritional sciences because of my interest in food, which grew from my discovery of the Food Network and intensified with my world travels. Food is not just fuel; it interacts with our bodies in different ways depending on how it’s been processed. Food can be simple and have positive health and social impacts. You can never go wrong with eating a colorful plate of fresh food!

CUESA: What do you do when you aren’t interning for CUESA?
Stephanie: My favorite thing is continuing my quest for new flavors. To try new cuisines and to experience the role of food in other cultures: cooking a new recipe or hunting down an authentic restaurant. Sometimes even following our stomachs across the world. My husband and I are travelling to Spain and Morocco in November!

When I’m too full to eat another bite, you can find me volunteering with the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund, Martin de Porres House of Hospitality, TNDC Food Pantries and St. Anthony’s Free Clothing program.

CUESA: What was your favorite part about interning with CUESA?
Stephanie: The people. The CUESA team is like a second family to me. The passion they have for what they do is a true inspiration. They live and breathe CUESA’s mission. This selfless group works hard for the betterment of everyone else – connecting farmers to the community, bringing awareness to the social and environmental factors of food choices, and most importantly, empowering and believing in our future generations so that they CAN make the world a better place. Plus, the exclusive volunteers-only field trips are a fun perk!

CUESA: Do you have an insider market tip or a favorite produce item at the market right now?
Stephanie: Flowers. The perfect just-because gift to put a smile on anyone’s face.