Become a Food First Intern

Thank you for your interest in interning at Food First. Interns have played an important role in all aspects of Food First’s work since it was founded in 1975. Food First interns work with staff on specific projects for 15 to 40 hours per week for a minimum of three months. Internships generally consist of conducting research; writing blogs and newsletter articles; doing Food First outreach at local events; assisting with communications including writing press releases and updating media lists; and copyediting and proofreading; and grassroots fundraising with supporters who give what they can. Food First interns are treated as an integral part of the team and are not relegated to menial office tasks, though you will be expected to do your share (no more than 20 percent-time) performing administrative duties. Food First internships are unpaid, though we will do our best to assist you in securing funding for your internship if such opportunities are available to you. Interns must work on-site at our Oakland office for at least part of their internship, depending on the arrangement made with their supervisor.

Please read the following descriptions closely to assess whether a Food First internship is the right fit for you:

1) Narrative Strategy and Donor Engagement Intern

Food First is looking to work with an emerging communicator who understands the importance of storytelling for our movements, and that reallocating resources is key to building a transformed world.

As a research think tank that receives 60% of its funding from people giving what they can, the successful intern candidate will understand the importance of donor engagement in furthering Food First’s mission, and be excited to expand our base of readers and supporters. A storyteller and aspiring logistics master, this intern will help us create personal, engaging, and widely accessible materials that will further expand our research, communications, and development materials.

Based on an ability to effectively communicate complex political and economic inequalities, they will help us write culturally-sensitive and empowering stories to engage supporters to act and give. The intern will also help create internal infrastructure to effectively and rapidly communicate with our audience.

As we continue to create personal and equitable relationships with our supporters through phone calls, letters, e-mail, and social media, Food First is also excited to expand upon the traditional engagement model and get creative about the ways we engage with popular audiences. Therefore, we are looking for an inventive intern with keen skills in organization to ensure follow-through.

Food First is looking for an intern who is willing to take on this commitment for 3 months, with priority on those who can work 10-20 hours a week. We are looking for someone who enjoys:

  • Sharing complex ideas and stories thoughtfully and clearly
  • Logistics; creating systems to engage with supporters
  • Follow-up and follow-through
  • Design; use of Photoshop, Illustrator, other Adobe Creative Suites programs, or Canva

Your writing sample can take the non-traditional route; marketing materials, presentations, and/or videos will be accepted as long as they can be easily reviewed on a PC/Mac or YouTube. This is an unpaid internship.

Please submit a writing sample, your cover letter, and resume to This is an unpaid internship.

2) Communications, Writing, and Editing Intern

Getting our work seen by the public is an absolutely crucial part of Food First’s mission. Storytelling and narrative-building are central pieces of our communications strategy, stretching the boundaries of the political imagination in the public and within social movement spaces. We are looking for an intern dedicated to building food and farm justice in the food system who also desires to further develop their skills for a future in the non-profit sector.

The ideal candidate will have proficient writing and editing skills, with an ability to convey complex ideas using straightforward language for the general public, supporters, and social movements. Experience with professional use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is a significant plus.

Projects and tasks:

  • Social media management
  • Assist with editing publications
  • Blog Writing
  • Curate and upload past publications into ReserachGate
  • Assist with website management

Other requirements include:

  • Self-motivated and comfortable working independently
  • While not necessary, someone with some prior communications or non-profit experience
  • Ability to take the lead on certain projects
  • Must be a senior undergraduate, graduate student, or hold an undergraduate degree
  • Experience with WordPress and graphic design
  • Highly organized

To apply:

Please note “Food First Communications Internship Application” in the subject line. Include the following materials as either a word document or PDF:

  • A cover letter outlining why you wish to intern at Food First
  • A current resume or CV
  • A recommendation letter from reference familiar with your abilities in writing and communication
  • Two writing samples that demonstrate your ability to convey ideas in a clear and concise way. These may be blogs, college papers, newspaper or magazine articles, etc… While not necessary, it would be ideal if one writing sample was originally written for a popular audience, such as a newsletter, press release, blog post, etc.

Please send materials for this internship position to This is an unpaid internship.

3) Linking and Weaving Food and Farm Justice in the Bay Area

Food First, a “people’s think-and-do tank”, sits at the nexus of many different networks for food, farm, climate, racial, and economic justice. Happily, these and related movements for change are only growing in power and voice. This also means the already complex areas of social change and food justice have gotten all the more complicated with the growing number of actors, theories of change, priorities, and ways of working.

This internship will help Food First connect, re-connect, show up, and respectfully engage with some of the new and established organizations related to our areas of work and larger struggles for social justice. In the vein of Food First’s long commitment to Research for Action, the intern will be responsible for researching relevant groups, identifying respectful spaces to attend, support, or otherwise engage with local groups, and conduct an analysis identifying the most exciting and the most wicked problems facing allied organizations in the region. This position will require not just research skills, but interpersonal skills, humility, respect, and discretion. “Showing up” for allies means being able to distinguish when people are telling you something about themselves or their organization “for you to write about,” and when people are telling you about themselves in order to tell you who they are, in the words of environmental justice scholar Dorceta Taylor. While an internal report—with some external pieces (blogs, etc.)—is the goal of this internship, it will be important to distinguish the trust required for bridge-building from items for a research report based on participant-observation.

The primary responsibilities of the intern will be identifying and documenting Bay area organizations and groups working on climate, food, farm, racial, social and economic justice, particularly grassroots groups, and attending appropriate events or meetings as a representative of Food First. Based on this, the intern will create an internal report on their observations of themes, trends, commonalities and differences among local groups and Food First. The intern must be able to represent Food First in a way aligned with our values and demonstrate respect, humility, reflexivity, and willingness to learn in varied social settings.


  • Advanced undergraduate, undergraduate degree, or current graduate student
  • Demonstrated commitment to and interest in the social and ecological aspects of food sovereignty, food justice, and agroecology
  • Excellent written and communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to travel (Food First cannot provide transportation, but can reimburse mileage/mass transportation costs)
  • Self-motivated and reliably able to conduct independent research
  • Ability to commit to at least 3-6 months
  • Commit to 10-20 hours per week
  • Proficiency in Spanish is a plus

To apply:

Please note “Linking and Weaving Food and Farm Justice in the Bay Area intern” in the subject line. Include the following materials in either Word or PDF format.

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • One writing sample no longer than five pages
  • One reference letter

Please send all materials for this internship position to This is an unpaid internship.

Internship Periods and Application Deadlines:

There are three Food First internship periods: Spring, Summer and Fall. You are required to attend the internship orientation meeting scheduled at the start of each period. The start dates and application deadlines are as follows:

  • Spring internship: Now accepting applications on a rolling basis. 
  • Summer internship: Starts 1st Tuesday in June – Deadline to apply: April 15
  • Fall internship: Starts 1st Tuesday in September – Deadline to apply: July 15