Volunteers of the Month: Kristen Sinclair and Sarah Hawthorne

December 29, 2017

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. Join us at our next volunteer orientation on January 10, 2018 at the Ferry Building. Learn more and sign up here.

The intern duo of Kristen Sinclair and Sarah Hawthorne (pictured above) have made CUESA’s recent fall semester of Foodwise Kids another success, inspiring hundreds of youth to love fresh fruits and vegetables. Sarah utilized her health coaching skills with the Foodwise Kids elementary school students, and Kristen was an integral part of welcoming our youngest visitors the farmers market.

“Kristen and Sarah were absolute Foodwise Kids superstars this semester,” says Education Program Coordinator Tessa Kappe. “Sarah’s sparkling, radiant presence charmed kids and chaperones alike. As flawlessly as a TV show host, she brought the world of the farmers market to life, teaching about local food with fun anecdotes like, ‘Often fruits and veggies come all the way from the other side of the world, like where I’m from in Australia!’ She greeted everyone with her giant smile, making anyone who stepped into the kitchen feel instantly appreciated.”

Meanwhile, “Kristen’s relentless work ethic and attention to detail was invaluable for a program with so many moving pieces,” says Tessa. “At any given moment I could count on her to be thinking about the same details as I was, and do whatever was needed to make everything fall into place. Selfless, spirited, and hardworking, Kristen was an incredible team member and a true delight to be around.” Meet Sarah and Kristen.

CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?

Sarah: My interest in food comes from being a Certified Health Coach (essentially, a holistic nutrition educator). I was uninformed about food growing up, and if I had known better, I would have made healthier and more sustainable choices sooner as my own natural health insurance.

Kristen:  As a kid I wasn’t very interested in food. My parents were always very vocal about teaching us about climate change and the impact that various industries have on the earth. In seventh grade I did a report on factory farming, and that was my first intro into mass-market agriculture. I was horrified by it and began to realize the importance of local food systems. Through various teachers and documentaries, I understood more how much our food directly impacts our health and the environment around us. I decided to go to culinary school through a growing interest in baking, and my interest in food and food systems has since been ever growing.

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

Sarah: I work with people of all ages on their eating habits and health goals. I also advise a wellness platform called Livzo and lead tours to the US for Australian Organic and other leaders in the industry.

Kristen: I work as a pastry cook at Tartine Manufactory and attend classes at City College. In my free moments I enjoy spending with my family and friends, or experimenting with baking at home.

CUESA: What is your favorite part about volunteering with CUESA?

Sarah: I am grateful to the volunteers, Tessa, and all of the generous market vendors (particularly farmer Sergio at Ground Stew Farms and his team, as well as Robert the local honey expert at City Bees). Without them, doing this program to the level of excellence, in the experience that we provide to the teachers, chaperones, and students, wouldn’t be possible.

Kristen: I have two favorite parts about interning with CUESA. The first is the community and support system that CUESA has. I have developed relationships with CUESA’s staff, who have been so welcoming toward me, and also with the incredibly dedicated and inspiring volunteers with whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and working. My second favorite part of the internship was seeing kids try new foods and enjoy them! I have been wonderfully surprised by the transformed attitudes some kids display toward fruits and vegetables through this field trip.

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

Sarah: At the market I love all the colors, shapes, and sizes of the seasonal produce that comes in many different varieties unique to the farmers market and unlike what kids see in a supermarket.

Kristen: Every Tuesday I look forward to amazing vegan tamales from Donna’s Tamales and Twin Girls Farm’s pineapple guavas, which I haven’t seen anywhere else. I love the delicious organic vegetables from Ground Stew Farms on Thursdays.

Sign up for our next volunteer orientation on January 10, 2018 at the Ferry Building here.