As I enter my 25th year of life and my 3rd year in San Francisco, I've come to realize what an important part food plays in people's lives, mine included.
In celebration of my 25th birthday, I'm raising money for CUESA, an amazing organization that supports access to fresh, healthy produce from local farmers!
I've been volunteering with CUESA (Center for Urban Education for Sustainable Agriculture) for the past two years and can personally tell you about the great programs they provide for the Bay Area community.
Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market
If you live in San Francisco, then you interact with CUESA any time that you visit the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market. The market is not only my absolute favorite place in the city, but is also CUESA's year-round, triweekly production that helps to cultivate a healthy and sustainable food system throughout the Bay Area. CUESA provides an accessible link between urban dwellers and local farmers and food producers, and there's much more to the market than just some fruits and veggies!
- Market to Table Cooking Demos: CUESA brings in chefs from around the city to give free cooking demos almost every Saturday. As an added bonus, most of the city's top chefs can be found shopping for their weekly haul early each Saturday.
- The Food Shed: The Food Shed presents rotating interactive educational materials & activities to market shoppers. You can learn about a range of important topics from how to help mitigate California's drought to interpreting food labels.
- Market Match: CUESA has a system in place to accept CalFresh/WIC food stamps in exchange for fresh produce. Just this year they were able to launch the amazing Market Match program, which matches up to $10 in food stamps per market visit, providing residents who need it most with more affordable access to fresh food choices.
Offered free to all San Francisco public schools, the Foodwise Kids program brings elementary school classes on an educational field trip to the weekday markets and teaches students how to to choose and cook healthy foods.
Schoolyard to Market
The Schoolyard to Market program offers San Francisco high schoolers a chance to learn both gardening and entrepreneurship by teaching them to cultivate and grow their own food and then sell it at their very own farmer's market booth.
CUESA strives to provide even more opportunities in which anyone in the community can participate:
- Farm Tours
- Kitchen Skills & Cooking Classes
- Sustainability Lectures
- Goatchella! An annual Goat Festival each spring (the fundraising photo is of me and goat baby at 2014's Goat Festival)
- Events such as this January's Winter Cocktails of the Farmer's Market, which also help to raise money for all of the above initiatives
CUESA is a key member of the San Francisco Bay Area and provides an extraordinary number of programs to support something vital to our community - a healthy and sustainable food system that is accessible to all. Please help me to raise money for CUESA and if and if you haven't yet visited the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, I would be more than thrilled to give you a tour!