Internship Location: Madison WI
Organization Type: Nonprofit
Policy Areas: Environment/Food and Nutrition
Over the summer of 2021, I acted as “Program Intern” for FairShare CSA Coalition, a nonprofit based in Madison, Wisconsin. FairShare CSA Coalition is dedicated to growing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in order to build a more sustainable food system locally. I supported that mission in my internship by administering the Partner Shares program, which provides financial assistance to low-income households to improve access to CSA. I reviewed applications, communicated with applicants and partner farms, created payment plans, processed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) vouchers, and issued payments to farms. I was also responsible for collecting and inputting content for Routes to Roots, which is FairShare’s 2021 fundraising initiative for Partner Shares and an app that provides self-guided walking, cycling, and driving tours around Wisconsin. Collecting content for Routes to Roots involved reaching out to community partners for information about their work, including farms in FairShare’s coalition; writing and audio recording brief “blurbs” about them; and previewing routes to check safety and app functionality. Through my internship, I became much more familiar with the Wisconsin landscape and agriculture. For example, I had the opportunity to partner with a local deli, Pasture and Plenty, to produce a historical route of Cheyenne Valley, an early Black settlement in the Driftless region of Wisconsin. However, the most important lessons I learned from my internship were the limitations of CSA, burdens of SNAP, and complexities of food access, which I know will be valuable as I pursue a career in sustainable development.