Berkeley Student Food Collective Sustainable Business and Development Internship Program

Project Leads: Carli Baker, Gwen von Klan, Elizabeth VidarBSFC logo

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.

TGIF Blog Posts about Berkeley Student Food Collective Sustainable Business and Development Internship Program

Project Implementation Plans

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

Task                        Description Time Frame
Food Day (1) Contact various student groups for collaboration 8/10/2013
Blog establish a blog for 100-Days of Real Food, updated weekly 8/26/2013
TGIF Intern Project Proposals, Timeline and Outreach proposal due and reviewed 8/30/2013
Labeling System
Start a spreadsheet to organize Real Food information of the store’s products 8/30/2013
Food Day (2) Confirm with other student groups for place in collaborative flyer 9/16/2013
Food Day (3) Finalize presentation information 9/29/2013
Food Day (4) Organize Food Day event details, such as time, location and room reservation 9/30/2013
Food Day (5) Confirm other student groups’ event details and design the flyer 10/4/2013
Food Day (6) Start distributing flyers 10/7/2013
Food Day (7) Contact The Science of Wellness and The Daily Californian for publicity in publications 10/7/2013
Food Day (8) Finalize presentation materials 10/14/2013
Food Day (9) Food Day Event(s) (on actual day or during that week) + tabling 10/24/2013
TGIF First Intern Evaluation Period  
Label Complete Product Spreadsheet (and fill in new product information as they come)  


Education (1) Design Real Food educational material to put in the store 11/8/2013
Education (2) Complete and put up for display  11/18/2013
Labeling System (2)  Finish design Draft1 and send for possible revision  11/22/2013
Labeling System (3)  Finalize and order labeling materials 11/29/2013
Labeling System (4) Revise and send in Draft2 for revision 12/6/2013
Relations with partner colleges Contact & discuss collaborative event with other universities’ student groups  1/17/2014
Labeling System (5) New labels printed 1/17/2014
Event - Cooking Tips  Finalize event plans 1/24/2014
TGIF Second Intern Evaluation Period  
Blog (2)
Complete all Real Food Pledges, and organize with afterthoughts and other tips 2/7/2014
Labeling System (6) Complete labeling for all existing products 2/14/2014
Labeling System (7) Establish a “How to Label” guide for future labeling 2/21/2014
Event - Cooking Tips (2) Prepare venue and all materials needed for event 2/21/2014
Event - Cooking Tips (3) Sustainable Cooking Tip ideal event date (or during National Nutrition Month)  3/7/2014
Relations with partner colleges Possible collaborative event ?/2014
TGIF All Intern Projects Completed 3/31/2014
TGIF Final Evaluation Period (Final TGIF installment, all funds spent) 4/15/2014
TGIF TGIF Final Report Submitted 4/30/2014

Community Relations Intern: Anna Balassone

Task                       Time Frame
Make sign-up sheet for CalSO tabling June 28, 2013
Finish cashier training July 17, 2013
Get sufficient sign-ups for CalSO tabling, filling in spots when necessary July 11, 2013
Organize and deliver The Box to the Tang Center Through August 12
Make concise flyer for The Box August 20
Make banner for The Box August 20
Have plan for expanding The Box to different on-campus departments August 20
Plan Community Relations exercise for first membership meeting September 10
Have advertising presence at Berkeley City College September 30
Create and distribute surveys for The Box October 1
ensure continued BSFC presence on- and off-campus November 1

Financial Sustainability Intern: Julia Morse

Task                       Time Frame
Install Quickbooks on store computers, assess usability of current inventory system August 15, 2013
Meet with Gwen, Adrian, Michelle and any relevant others to discuss progress and findings, decide whether to make a complete switch to Quickbooks or continue to use some elements of the current system August 31, 2013
Be proficient in use and management of Quickbooks and/or current inventory system September 30, 2013
Plan a short workshop on use and management of the new system October 31
Publicize and hold said workshop November
Assess coupon distribution and use at the BSFC.  Give a short presentation at a membership meeting.   December, January
Research using green office supplies for the management side of the BSFC (i.e. eco-friendly paper, inks & pens/pencils, turning off the computer in the back to save energy) February
Third project update due to TGIF March 3
Project Poster Due April 1
CACS summit, possible presentation April 1
Final Report Due June 1

Holistic Sustainability Intern: Caitriona Smyth

Task Description Time Frame
Assess storefront energy use This includes energy usage due to refrigerators, lighting, oven and other appliance usage, etc. to find where to best improve efficiency 8/29/13
Waste tracking
Set up document for waste tracking on in-store computer. Send out an email to volunteers to explain their responsibilities in helping track the storefront’s waste stream, and write posters for all bins as reminders. Begin tracking recycling, trash and compost waste. 9/6/13
Composting Workshop Contact the Compost Alliance and a farmer who obtains compost from the Central Valley. Begin planning a game/ activity, venue, advertising, etc. for the workshop 9/13/13
Compostable packaging Include whether packaging is compostable on all in-store product labels, include it in the label template and write a reminder in the food prep binder 9/13/13
Compostable packaging (2)
All packaging for products made in-store and all plates/ cups for catered events should be compostable. All in-store products should be made using compostable packaging and all catered events should also use compostable plates/ cups. 9/27/13
Composting Workshop
Educate students new to Berkeley on composting, since many students hail from regions and cities that do not provide a city-wide composting program like Berkeley’s. Cover the BSFC’s policy on compostable packaging and how to identify compostable packaging. Hopefully collaborate with the Compost Alliance and a local farmer or SOGA representative.  10/15/13
Bottle Return Policy
Begin tracking the effectiveness of the BSFC’s Bottle Return Policy. How many bottles are returned every week? What is its reach: How many different customers partake in it? 10/25/13
Energy Use
Have a plan for how to reduce the storefront’s energy use. Bottle Return Policy: Put up signs as reminders of the store’s bottle return policy. 11/15/13
Bottle Return Policy Depending on the effectiveness of the signage, increase monetary incentive for Bottle Return Policy/ enact some other measure. 12/7/13
Energy Use (2)
Install a door on the refrigerator or implement some other energy-reduction plan. Begin assessing which of our products use the most packaging. Begin contacting vendors to encourage them to use less packaging, especially local vendors. Calculate the number of food miles travelled by our average product, and try to cut down by 15%. 12/20/13

Fall 2013 Accomplishments
The Berkeley Student Food Collective hred four students to fill the four Sustainable Business and Development internship positions.

  • Read the intern bios here.
  • Read an interview with store Operations Manager, Gwen von Klan, here.

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 the 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 Tang Center employees throughout the summer. In total, 12 Tang Center employees participated during the summer produce box program, resulting in a revenue of $1,530.00 and the delivery of nearly 600 pounds of produce! 
  • Continued the produce box program into the academic year. More than 20 people signed up to in fall 2013 to participate. Sign up here for the box program.
  • Conducted outreach for the creation of a Food Collective presence at the Berkeley Sunday Streets festival and is 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 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 evaulation 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.

Intern Timelines

Check out the Food Collective's Catering Menu.

Final Accomplishments 
Holistic Sustainability Intern: Caitriona Smyth

  • Assessed the energy usage of our refrigerators and light fixtures. These charts show each refrigerator's share of the BSFC's energy usage. 
  • 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

Holistic Sustainability Intern Final Report

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.

Financial Sustainability Intern Final Report

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)
    • Wrote article for 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. 

Community Relations Intern Final Report

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. 

Real Food Advocacy Intern Final Report

Mission Statement

The Green Initiative Fund (TGIF) provides funding for projects that reduce UC Berkeley's negative impact on the environment and make UC Berkeley more sustainable. TGIF will allocate funds to projects that promote sustainable modes of transportation, increase energy and water efficiency, restore habitat, promote environmental and food justice, and reduce the amount of waste created by UC Berkeley. Portions of the fund also support education and behavior change initiatives, student aid (via return to aid), and internships. TGIF is supported by student fees and administered through a student-majority committee and a program coordinator.