Food First. Not second, or third, for that matter.

I’ve interned for little more than a month for the Institute for Food & Development Policy, better known as Food First, and it’s been a blast. We cook vegetarian lunches every day and eat them collectively. This builds bonds among us, making it feel intimate and familial. The staff especially have wonderful senses of humor, so not a day goes by without my laughing.

Food First, with only five paid staff, gets hella shit done. One of the paid staff, Alethea, is assembling a Food Policy Council for the City of Oakland, which would convene stakeholders from around the community to localize food systems. She has help from a couple of interns, but otherwise it’s all on her. And industrious she definitely seems: the Council’s set to meet within the next two months.

Annie Shattuck holds the position of Policy Analyst. You could also call her the local “jackette of all trades,” as her duties involve anything from flying to Seattle to meet with Gates Foundation officials, to reviewing & writing sections of Food First and other books.

Eric Holt-Gimenez captains this peculiar vessel – he’s our Executive Director. His duties include flying all over the place to talk about food sovereignty, agribusiness domination, small farmers, and a myriad of other food-related issues. Right now he’s attending a conference in Mali (Africa). Lucky!

Finally, we’re very lucky to have Marilyn Borchardt as Development Director. She maintains relations with the nonprofit’s funders, coordinates the interns, and pretty much anchors the ship. Marilyn is Food First’s veritable soul, as she’s been here since 1986.

So far, I’ve been responsible for updating Facebook and Twitter, writing blogs & articles for the website, and excitingly, researching the relationship between food sovereignty and urban agriculture.

More on such nerdy business later. Be well (:


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