Berkeley Student Food Collective Sustainable Business and Development Internship Program

Berkeley Student Food Collective Sustainable Business and Development Internship Program

Project Leads: Carli Baker, Gwen von Klan, Elizabeth Vidar

Sponsor: Berkeley Student Food Collective

TGIF Grant: $6,488.31

Project Theme: Food Justice & Sustainability

Project Location

2013 Application Submission

Status: Complete

Project Description: Interns will be hired to investigate and promote the long-term financial and environmental viability of the BSFC. The four positions will be Holistic Sustainability intern, Real Food Advocacy intern, Community Relations intern, and Financial Viability intern.

Goals: The Berkeley Student Food Collective wishes to hire four interns for a period of 6 months to work on separate projects that will provide advanced professional experience in sustainable business development while simultaneously supporting the long-term financial and environmental sustainability of our organization. The BSFC hopes that this program can be the beginning of a permanent internship system that furthers our mission of creating the next generation of food leaders and activists. By the end of these internships, the students will better understand how to achieve true sustainability in a business operation.

Fall 2013 Accomplishments

The Berkeley Student Food Collective hired four students to fill the four Sustainable Business and Development internship programs.

Real Food Advocacy Intern: Chin-Yi (Eve) Lee

  • Initiated the 100 days of Mini-Pledges project (based off of 100 Days of Real Food) on the BSFC Tumblr, with plans to utilize the Tumblr to update each week’s Real Food Mission and Reflection.
  • Successfully ran the Real Food Challenge Workshop for Food Day 2013
  • Attended Real Food Rising: National Summit 2013 with Travel Scholarship from the Real Food Challenge
  • Tabled at the event, attended various workshops, including that of Real Food Calculator, and connect with the national Real Food Community

Community Relations Intern: Anna Balassone

  • Ensured that the BSFC has maintained a strong relationship with UC Berkeley’s Tang Center through the “Eat Well Berkeley” program
  • Organized the delivery of a weekly produce box to the Tang Center in order to bring local, organic food to the Tang Center employees throughout the summer. In total, 12 Tang Center employees participated during the summer produce box program, resulting in a revenue of $1,530 and the delivery of nearly 600 pounds of produce!
  • Continued the produce box program into the academic year. More than 20 people signed up in the fall to participate.
  • Conducted outreach for the creation of a Food Collective presence at the Berkeley Sunday Streets festival and currently exploring advertising options at Berkeley High School to encourage students to shop for local, healthy, sustainable foods.

Financial Sustainability Intern: Julia Morse

  • Dealt with technological issues, including buying a laptop and Quickbooks for use in the store’s operations

Holistic Sustainability Intern: Caitriona Smyth

  • Assessed the energy usage of the Food Collective’s refrigerators. The eight refrigerators are the most energy-intensive machinery in the store and comprise the majority of the BSFC’s energy bill. The side-by-side comparison allows us to evaluate the efficiency of each relative to its volume
  • Began tracking the Food Collective’s waste for two weeks for evaluation of waste habits and potential points of reduction.
  • Began tracking the effectiveness of the Food Collective’s bottle return policy by comparing its rate of returns to national averages for Revive, Saint Benoit, and Straus. Composed a survey for customers to explore how to get more people to participate in the program.

Final Accomplishments

Holistic Sustainability Intern: Caitriona Smyth

  • Assessed the energy usage of our refrigerators and light fixtures.
  • Created an instructional flier to help volunteers clean the refrigerators, thus reducing their energy usage
  • Created a survey to gauge awareness of bottle returns for products sold in the store, tracked bottle return over the course of five weeks, then designed a flier to increase awareness.
  • Started a jar return program for products made by food prep volunteers
  • Increased the charge on paper cups so as to encourage customers to bring reusable cups (for coffee/tea).
  • Conducted a waste audit so as to assess the BSFC’s contribution to compost, recycling, and trash waste streams.
  • Created posters to increase awareness of waste streams in the BSFC and bottle returns. These were posted in the store.
  • Worked with Shannon Davis, a UC Berkeley Student who wrote her senior thesis on the path that plastic recycling takes through various facilities, across the world, to organize a workshop that educated BSFC members about recycling.
  • Working to compile information regarding products sold by the store, including miles traveled, recyclability of packaging, and sustainability practices of the producers

Financial Sustainability Intern: Julia Morse

  • Created barcodes for BSFC gift cards and researched and installed a gift card system that is integrated with the current POS, allowing the BSFC to track these sales.
  • Sent out weekly finance report emails to membership
  • Helped the Finance Committee draw up a budget for the upcoming year, generating projections and reporting on those findings to the Board.
  • Entered weekly data in sales report documents that are saved on Google Drive and accessible to anyone involved in finance.
  • Made huge progress on the data entry part of the Quickbooks project. Entered daily sales and billing information from July 2013, which can now be used to generate predictions, as well as help the BSFC obtain a more complete understanding of its day-to-day cash flow

Community Relations Intern: Anna Balassone

  • Established an advertising presence at Berkeley City College
  • Contacted 5 food-related publications about writing a story about the collective — two of which have resulted in articles (in East Bay Press and Edible East Bay)
  • Created an informational reference document for store volunteers with the acronym “CORN” (“Collective, Opened in 2010, Real Food Challenge, Non-profit”)
  • Created & distributed a “BSFC Satisfaction Survey” to members and customers
    • Analyzed survey results and compiled them into a survey Powerpoint
    • Presented the survey Powerpoint to our Board of Directors
  • Organized TEDx Manhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” viewing party event
  • Held a BSFC booth at Shattuck’s “Sunday Streets”
  • Maintained BSFC’s produce”Box” initiative

Real Food Advocacy Intern: Chin-Yi (Eve) Lee

  • Connected with the Real Food Challenge Coordinators in the Real Food National Summit 2013.
  • Corresponded with Nicole, the Cal Dining Intern, and Megan, the Real Food Challenge Regional organizer, to reintroduce the Real Food Calculator to UC Berkeley (thus measuring the amount they spend on real food)
  • Educated customers on how BSFC uses RFC as our purchasing policy through posters in the store.
  • Publicized Food Day as a way to promote real food to Cal students.
  • Formulated icon variations and new designs for labels
  • Became involved in produce labeling and helped outline the categories