We were so excited to welcome Sansha as our food security associate this summer! As you may already know, we at Dean's Beans are always looking for intrepid interns, and Sansha fit the bill perfectly. She is helping us with our ongoing Kids Stimulus program, and researching ways that we can make the program even more successful in this upcoming year. Learn more about Sansha here, in her own words!
My name is Sansha, and I am working with Dean’s Beans this summer as a Food Security Associate to help develop the Kid’s Stimulus Package Program. I studied Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst which taught me to appreciate complex problems and seek holistic, data driven solutions. My passion for food and agriculture led me to the Food Systems graduate program at the University of Vermont. There, I am learning how to tackle the complexity of the food system to make it more environmentally, socially, and economically equitable and sustainable. Outside of work, I am happiest spending time by the ocean with my dog, Georgia!
Q: When did you become interested in food security, and what prompted you to make it the focus of your studies?
A: I have always been interested in the realm of food and agriculture but once I entered grad school, I realized how food is treated as a commodity and often as a means to gain power. I believe food is a basic human right and my goal is to work towards a society where it is treated as such.
Q: What is your favorite coffee beverage?
A: Most days I enjoy my coffee with nothing in it, but if I am feeling fancy I go for a caramel latte with coconut milk!
Q: What is your favorite non-coffee beverage?
A: Coconut water, I have an unlimited capacity for it
Q: How did you hear about Dean’s Beans, and why did you want to come intern with us?
A: I came across Dean’s Beans coffee at a breakfast spot in the North Shore and was intrigued so I Googled the company. I was inspired by Dean’s Beans commitment to fostering change as a for-profit company and reached out to see how I could get involved which led to me working here this summer!
Q: What is your favorite summer activity?
A: Spending time by the ocean and trying new recipes with the fresh, local summer produce!
Q: What are your career goals once you complete grad school?
A: I hope to continue working on mitigating food insecurity and fighting for people’s rights to a nutritious and culturally appropriate diet. I am also very interested in the role that for-profit businesses can play in transforming the food system!
Q: Do you love to travel as much as Dean does? What is your favorite destination?
A: Yes! Even though I have spent more than half of my life in Massachusetts I realized I had barely explored New England, so recently I have been going on road trips around New England! Most recently I visited Acadia with my family.
Q: For other people who are concerned about food security in their own communities; what is one simple thing that you would tell them they can do to make an impact?
A: The simplest step people can take is getting involved with their local anti-hunger organizations. This helps increase awareness about food insecurity and builds community networks. To help create systemic change, I highly encourage people to contact their representatives to advocate for policies that improve food access, raise the minimum wage, and support local producers.