Olivia Cronin joined the Belmont Food Collaborative (BFC) as an intern in 2013. While you may see her at the Market, you’re more likely to find her working on her many other projects, like raising produce for the Belmont Food Pantry through Community Growing or working on our blog.
In addition to her work with the BFC, she has started a club at Belmont High School that focuses on food issues. A rising senior, she also rows with the Arlington-Belmont Crew Team and plays bassoon at the high school and with an outside orchestra.
Why did you start working with the Market/Food Collaborative?
Last year I was looking for summer opportunities and saw that the Market/Food Collaborative was looking for interns. I’d never been involved with the Market before and had actually only been a few times. The focus of the position has a lot of flexibility, so it gives potential to pursue whatever areas interest you the most. There is a lot more that goes on besides the Market, and I wanted to have the chance to be involved in more community projects, especially ones that give you the chance to be outdoors.
What projects are you working on this year?
This year I’m helping with the Community Growing project that raises produce for the Belmont Food Pantry. Over this past year, with the BFC, I helped to start a similar garden at Belmont High School (BHS) and will be working on maintaining and organizing this project. I will also continue to post on the BFC’s blog with updates on the garden and its progress.
Is there anything you’re working on with us that you enjoy most?
I really enjoy working on the garden, especially delivering the produce we’ve raised to the Food Pantry. This is very rewarding and emphasizes the idea of knowing where your food comes from.
Can you tell me a bit about the club you started at the high school?
The club meets every 1-2 weeks and has been primarily focused on starting up the garden, but has done other projects throughout the year. This winter we organized the first “Winter Food Drive Competition” at BHS, collecting food items for the Belmont Food Pantry. Each grade competed for a prize of a dessert party, which was prepared by club members.
A big project this spring was “Global Awareness Week,” which was headed by the leaders of four high school clubs that are focused on global issues. This event was another first for BHS. Throughout the week presenters spoke about a wide variety of globally centered topics and teachers were able to sign up their classes for presentations throughout the day. The week ended with a “Hunger Banquet,” an interactive simulation intended to represent the global struggle for food security. Guests were randomly placed into one of three socioeconomic classes, where the distribution of people and food matched the situation around the world. We are already planning for next year, but are hoping to expand the event to include more of the community.