Stories break the silence and nourish those who work, feel and dream - Carmen Naranjo


Our Mission

Real Food Real Stories (RFRS) is on a mission to humanize the food system for a connected, sustainable and just tomorrow. RFRS uplifts inspiring personal stories from the Bay Area food community and curates live monthly gatherings to foster a food culture around authentic sharing, generous listening, and a connection to our shared humanity.


WE BELIEVE people come first and that all of our stories matter.
WE GATHER in all of our diversity to learn from each other and local changemakers.

WE BELIEVE food is social, food is political, food is action.
WE GATHER to cultivate a connected local food community
because only together can we create a more just and regenerative tomorrow.

WE BELIEVE in the power of listening generously and sharing authentically to heal divides.
WE GATHER to be inspired, to be nourished, and to be reminded of our shared humanity.


Our Founding Story

The story of RFRS started with founder Pei-Ru Ko's journey to heal her disabling auto-immune condition through food. While researching the growing practices of Bay Area food options, Pei-Ru befriended many local food producers truly in the business to feed people and heal our planet. As Pei-Ru began to recover through each nourishing soups and stews, she started to ask the question, "How can I give back to the budding food movement that helped me heal?"

In the summer of 2014 Pei-Ru and a group of friends passionate about issues of sustainability in food & community building put on the first Real Food Real Stories gathering in a San Francisco home. The 40+ people gathered showed the power of pairing authentic storytelling & an inspired, shared meal to build local food communities, where eaters are invited to deeply connect with those actively stewarding our land, sea and overall food system. 

The power of connection to activate the sustainable food movement emerged that evening made it clear that we must share the experience with others. Since then, a team of volunteer collaborators has been working together to build the community initiative and partner with local producers, food/agriculture advocacy groups, food businesses and eaters. In October 2015, RFRS became a proud project of Earth Island Institute*, a California non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

To further learn about RFRS' journey and why we believe that gathering is a form of activism, please take a look at this article written by Pei-Ru, published by Earth Island Journal. 

Special thanks to our founding donors for helping bring RFRS into existence!

*Earth Island Institute, a 501(c)(3) organization, provides fiscal sponsorship, resources, training, technical assistance, and peer relationships to environmental activists looking for an organizational home and institutional leverage for their work. Becoming a fiscally sponsored project is a strategic decision Real Food Real Stories made in order to increase our effectiveness, organizational durability, and greater capacity to do out work.  Earth Island leverages the power of a network of diverse projects, the invaluable knowledge and influence of renowned leaders in the environmental movement, and the track record of a 35-year old organization and experienced staff.  They are home to projects on the forefront of the environmental movement utilizing strategies that are responsive to the social, economic, and political realities of our time.