When You Give to CUESA, Who Benefits? You and Your Community
December 27, 2013
We are sometimes asked by our supporters where their funds go and who benefits when they donate to CUESA. In this season of giving, we’ve decided to answer this important question by profiling four recipients of your donations and CUESA’s work. So far, we have met a family that has made their farm more sustainable, a high school student who has found a healthier path, and an educator who is a cheerleader for fruits and vegetables with help from supporters like you.
This week, we’d like to you to meet Roslyn Rhodes, a long-time market shopper, active senior, and avid participant in CUESA’s education programs. Roslyn’s love for the market and her experiences at our cooking demonstrations and farm tours have inspired her to become a more conscious cook. When you donate to CUESA, you are creating to a community of informed and engaged eaters like Roslyn. She shares:
I’ve been coming to the market since it was on Green Street, and I got to be more of a regular when it moved to the Ferry Building in 2003. I take the Number 1 bus, which brings me right across the street. I check my email at the nearby library and then walk to the market. I find it a very good way to spend a morning. I like to explore and discover new things, and I love taking in the colors.
For me the market is a special place. It’s alive. It has good, fresh food, some of it just picked within 24 hours. And it is social. Usually I run into somebody I know. It’s really like a happening.
Because of the market I have become a bit of a foodie. I have a greater appreciation of good food and am more cognizant of what I put on the plate. I had a much blander palate before, and now I’m a bit more adventurous. I find the cooking demonstrations very worthwhile, because there are vegetables that I would like to learn how to prepare—like cold weather vegetables. I enjoy taking the recipes for inspiration.
I give to CUESA because I appreciate the fact that they are teaching young people how to be aware of what’s good for their bodies. I come to the market knowing that CUESA is educating young people and the public, which is very worthwhile.
I see so many young people on the bus eating potato chips and candy, and I think to myself, “Nature really didn’t provide this food. The corporations want you to be eating these things, but they’re not good for you. And if you follow nature, you are doing right by your body—which you only have one of!”
So I have grown my awareness through CUESA, and I’m still learning.
Listening to the farmers talk about their farming practices has also really changed the way I eat. When I learned about dry farming on a Dirty Girl Produce farm tour, I thought, “Oh, no wonder these tomatoes are sooo good!” Now I come down to the market especially for them during that season. And I’ve learned about the attention farmers give to composting, how they reuse waste from crops to build healthier soil.
By going on tours I’ve also heard from farmers about social justice. Maria from Catalan Family Farm spoke of how she is helping young farmers who are immigrants, who don’t speak the language, and she is helping them prepare paperwork in order to get organic certification. I thought that was really very wonderful.
The farm tours are to me a happening. They get people moving. As a senior, I see too many people in my age group who just want to go to lectures, but it’s nice to move your body and have new experiences. My advice to people: Move! Engage people in the world. Don’t just sit in your own little piece of the world—there’s a lot out there.
Photo of Rosyln with chard by Esha Gupta.