Volunteer of the Month: Roberta Ritter Spier


Roberta’s dedication to the Cooking Matters program at Veggielution has been a fundamental part of the program's recent success!  Here is a little bit about Roberta and how she became a part of the Veggielution family.


Roberta is originally from Porto Alegre, a city in southern Brazil.  She studied Nutritional Science in Brazil and worked one year abroad in Germany.  Her husband’s career led them to make the move to the US, and they have been living here in San Jose since October 2011.

Involvement at Veggielution

Last year, Roberta discovered Veggielution through her ESL program, where Veggielution was promoted as a good place to “do extra activities, get involved with the community, and practice English skills.”  She began as a Saturday workday volunteer and took instructor classes where she “learned a lot about farming, planting, and transplanting issues.”  This year, she started helping with the Cooking Matters program, advising the promotoras and planning and organizing classes.

Veggielution Highlights

“My best memory from the farm is all the final classes from Cooking Matters when all participants make a poster explaining what they learned during the section.  So, we can recognize the participants’ learning as a result of our job in the classes.  My best experience is working with all Veggielution`s integrants (staff, interns, promotoras, and AmeriCorp).  Nothing would happen successfully without their participation and help in the classes!  Working with this group as a team is an amazing experience.

“What I like most here is teaching people about Nutrition and how to eat healthy.  Second, meeting people from different backgrounds and sharing experiences.  Finally, realizing how our community gets more integrated and enriched once they participate in the projects that Veggielution has been offering (educational, health, environmental).”

Favorite Foods

Roberta’s guilty pleasure is “a piece of cake with black coffee; it really makes me smile.”  Her favorite vegetable is kale, which she became familiar with in the US.  She loves kale salad with beets: “It is super delicious, it combines lemon juice, fresh cheese, garlic, olive oil, toasted walnuts, black pepper, mustard, and balsamic vinegar. Try it!”


You can find Roberta at the farm on Wednesdays and Fridays, and sometimes on Saturdays.