The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

My Internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group

Posted on August 17, 2017 by The VRG Blog Editor

Version 2
By Casey Brown, VRG Intern

After interning with The Vegetarian Resource Group last year, I was very excited to have the opportunity to intern with them again this summer. Last summer, I had many great experiences working with the other interns on projects in the office, volunteering at numerous booths in the area, and visiting a summer camp and a soup kitchen in Baltimore. I was excited to learn that I would be able to revisit many of these places, including Our Daily Bread and Tuttie’s Place. I worked on numerous projects throughout this summer, which included volunteering at booths, adding to The Vegetarian Resource Group online restaurant guide, creating a vegan pizza guide, doing Veggie Bits reviews, writing another Vegetarian Action piece for the Vegetarian Journal, working on a research project, and more!

One of the first projects I worked on was creating a lesson plan for TuTTie’s Place. TuTTie’s Place is a nonprofit organization in Baltimore that holds a summer camp for individuals in the Baltimore area. VRG interns visited this camp last year to teach the students about the health benefits of veggie diets and were invited to come back and speak with the students again this year. A VRG volunteer and I created a lesson plan catering to the different age groups within the camp and planned new activities to do with the kids this year. Last year we spoke to the group as a whole, but this year we were able to work in smaller groups with the students. We found this to be effective since we were able to teach the kids based on their age level and get to know the students better since they were in smaller groups. We also brought multiple vegan snacks for the students to sample, so they could get a better taste of veganism. They were all really open to the idea of trying these foods and the majority of the students loved them. We decided to make banana ice cream (only putting frozen bananas through a Yonanas machine) with the students again this year since it is an easy, delicious, and healthy non-dairy dessert. Last summer, some of the students were hesitant to try banana ice cream since this treat was foreign to them. However, this year when we announced we would be making this dessert, we were greeted with screams; the students were overjoyed to be making this delicious dessert again! I had so much fun with the students and was so grateful for the opportunity to visit the camp for a second time.

Last summer, I visited Our Daily Bread twice while interning, and I was excited to take the new summer interns to visit the center this year. Our Daily Bread is a soup kitchen in Baltimore that operates a Hot Meal Program, which serves over 700 people every day. Last year when we visited, they told us that they had a high demand for vegetarian casseroles, with over ⅓ of the visitors preferring the vegetarian plate. The same was true when we visited this year, and the volunteers were extremely grateful for our donations. The Hot Meals Program relies on volunteers and donations to operate, and they stated that they often do not receive many of the vegan casserole options. These recipes are so easy to prepare, and I highly encourage everyone to get involved! I cooked the Creamy Bean and Potato Casserole with Carrots, which only took 10 minutes to prepare and an additional 20 minutes to cook! I definitely plan to continue preparing these casseroles for soup kitchens near my home since these recipes are so simple.

Over the summer, I have represented The VRG at many booths throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. I was able to attend Central PA Vegfest, Richmond Vegfest, Waverly Farmers Market in Baltimore, DC Green Festival, and more. I always love attending these events since I am able to connect with many like-minded individuals who are interested in learning more about vegetarianism and veganism. I have met many inspiring individuals through these events and have been able to help many others by providing them with The VRG’s materials. I will be moving to Asheville, NC soon, and I plan to continue doing booths for The VRG in that location.

In addition to the events I have been able to attend, I have also worked on many projects in the office. One of the toughest jobs I had was writing Veggie Bits; this required me to sample many delicious vegan products for upcoming features in the Vegetarian Journal. I was able to try Eat Enlightened’s Roasted Broad Bean Crisps, Amy’s Vegan Margherita Swirls, Crazy Go Nut’s Walnut Butters and Flavored Walnuts, and much more! I will definitely miss being able to sample so many delicious vegan products once my internship ends. Another project I worked on was a frozen vegan pizza guide. In the past I have compiled and compared the different vegan cheeses and yogurts on the market, and this summer I worked on a guide for vegan pizzas. I also interviewed Cam MacQueen for a Vegetarian Action piece in the Vegetarian Journal. MacQueen is an entrepreneur and animal activist from Asheville, NC, and it was an amazing opportunity being able to learn more about her life. It was inspiring to hear about all of the activism she has done. One of the main projects I worked on throughout the summer was a research project that looked at studies involving a plant-based diet. The results from my research will not be available until next year, but I was able to learn a lot working on this project. Other volunteers assisted me with this project, and we were able to read through countless journal articles involving plant-based diets.

I am so grateful for all of the opportunities I have had this summer because of The VRG. I love being involved with this organization since it provides me with many unique opportunities to promote veganism. I have met many passionate and hard-working individuals through my internship and still stay in touch with the interns I worked with last summer. I plan to stay involved with The VRG by doing booths in Asheville, NC and working on additional projects when I have time.

For information on interning for The Vegetarian Resource Group, see:

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