Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

2131 Beaufait Street
Detroit, MI, 48207
United States

(313) 923-3535 ext. 202


Staff Changes and Job Opportunities with Cooking Matters

Cooking Matters

Staff Changes and Job Opportunities from Cooking Matters


We Thank You for All Your Help!

Carolyn Sagi, Evan Martin, Klair Urbin, Amy Ervin, Anna Harris, Marisa Hrbal, and Brittney Rooney at CHOICES, 2018

It's been a very busy spring, and we are SO THANKFUL to have your help!

If you haven't been able to volunteer with class recently, we're looking forward to seeing you again when you find a class that fits your schedule.

Thank you for all you do for Cooking Matters, and our community!

Chicken Week 2
Bob Greig and John Miller during Whole Chicken week at Cooking Matters for Adults, Heartline Inc.

Volunteer Appreciation Event: Gleaners Food Zoo Open House June 16, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 


Please Join Us in Celebrating Our Cooking Matters Volunteers!

Join us for a Gleaners "Food Zoo" open house, and potluck brunch:

Saturday, June 16, 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

For those who would like, there will be an opportunity to work in the garden.

Family and other guests welcome!

Contact Carolyn at, or 313-580-9822 with questions, or to RSVP.

Urgent Volunteers Needed!


Please consider sharing your time with Cooking Matters in the following class:

Cooking Matters for Families
05/10/2018 - 06/14/2018
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Gleaners Community Food Bank
2131 Beaufait
Detroit, MI  48207
Culinary Instructor, Nutrition Instructor, and Class Assistant

Contact Carolyn with questions, or to sign up for class:  313-308-0585 (o), 313-580-9822 (c), or

Substitutes Needed!


Even if you haven't got time for a whole class series, please check in with the Cooking Matters Michigan BLOG to view our "One-Time Volunteers Needed" page with substitute volunteer opportunities.

This list changes often!  If no one-time volunteer opportunities fit your schedule, check again soon! 

Contact Carolyn with questions, or to sign up for class:  313-308-0585 (o), 313-580-9822 (c), or

Cooking Matters Staff Changes

CM Logo

Congratulations are in order for several members of the Cooking Matters Team at Gleaners Community Food Bank!  Sarah Mills, Rebecca Blauw, Rachel Binder, and Brittney Rooney will all be taking on new challenges.

S Mills Head Shot
Sarah Mills, Director of Wellness and Nutrition

Sarah Mills began with Cooking Matters as a Volunteer, and has served as both Coordinator, and Manager of the team.  She has recently accepted a position as the Director of Wellness and Nutrition Education for Gleaners Community Food Bank.

Rebecca Blauw, Cooking Matters Manager

Both Rebecca Blauw and Rachel Binder began with Gleaners Community Food Bank as AmeriCorps members.  After serving with the team in that capacity, we were fortunate both joined the Cooking Matters team full time.  Rebecca began as the Volunteer Coordinator, and transitioned into the Supervisor position in 2016.  Rebecca now serves as the Manager for the Cooking Matters program of Southeast Michigan.  Rachel transitioned into the Cooking Matters Coordinator position in 2016, and now serves as the Supervisor for the Cooking Matters Team.

Rachel Binder, Cooking Matters Supervisor

Brittney Rooney began with Gleaners Community Food Bank in 2015.  She served as both a Cooking Matters Coordinator and FAITH-DM Nutrition Educator.  During Brittney's time with the Gleaners team, she has also been the co-owner of Beaverland Farms, a farm in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit.  In May, Brittney will pursue her work with Beaverland full time.

Brittney Rooney, Cooking Matters Coordinator

Congratulations to all four of these amazing women!  We wish them well in everything they pursue!

These staff changes do create career opportunities with the Cooking Matters Team of Southeast Michigan.  Please visit the employment section below, or the Careers page of the Gleaners website for details on how to apply.

The Gleaners/Forgotten Harvest Partnership

Gleaners 40 Forgotten Harvest 2

Gleaners Community Food Bank (GCFB) has many excellent partners in our goal to end hunger in Southeast Michigan.  Forgotten Harvest is a valuable piece of the anti-hunger community, and we wanted to share a little about our complimentary relationship. 

Forgotten Harvest and GCFB have a shared goal: reducing food insecurity to a point where everyone in our community has access to healthy food. Hunger affects 1 in 5 families nationally, and 1 in 4 in Detroit.  This widespread problem cannot be solved by any one organization.  Ending hunger will take community engagement on many levels: social services, private sector, and government entities. 

GCFB and Forgotten Harvest have been working in tandem for over 25 years to address the needs of our community. Both organizations have continued to grow their distributions each year.  Each organization has a unique approach to the problem of hunger in Southeast Michigan.

Forgotten Harvest operates a ‘push’ model. Trucks leave the warehouse empty, collect food that would otherwise go to waste, and deliver it to agency partners. They also have a 95-acre farm in Fenton, MI that provides two million pounds of produce per year. 

In contrast, GCFB has a ‘pull’ model, where donations are solicited and food is then purchased, held in inventory, and distributed to agencies as they need specific items. This model allows us to fill the gaps in partner agencies’ offerings and ensure they have a reliable supply of staple foods. 

These complimentary models ensure partner agencies get the lowest-priced option, while being able to provide all of the foods families need. 

GCFB and Forgotten Harvest also partner on projects like the Healthy Pantry Initiative, make joint proposals for grant funding, and implement Link2Feed software at partner agencies to track the impact of our combined efforts. 

Partners like Forgotten Harvest are essential in solving the hunger problem in Southeast Michigan.

Detroit Public TV Kids Club Live!

Gleaners Community Food Bank partners with Detroit Public TV and Kroger in June to provide Kids Club Live at the Royal Oak Farmers Market.  

Tuesday, June 19 & Wednesday, June 20.

This family friendly event will feature favorite Kids Club characters in a live show.  After each show, families will visit fun tables to learn about healthy kid care, and play games.

Cooking Matters would like to provide a table on healthy eating for young families.  To do this, we will need the help of volunteers.  Cooking Matters will provide all the materials, and volunteers will visit with families to talk about healthy recipes, tips, and to play games.  Shift times on each day include:

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Shifts follow each show, and we will recruit a Nutrition Instructor, Culinary Instructor, and Classroom Assistant for each shift.

Please contact Carolyn with questions, or to sign up for a shift:  313-308-0585 (o), 313-580-9822 (c), or

'Food Literacy for All' University of Michigan Open Course


This semester, The University of Michigan, in partnership with the Detroit Food Policy Council, is offering Food Literacy for All, an introduction to food system issues.

Every week, from Jan-Apr 2018, guest speakers will address the diverse challenges and opportunities of both domestic and global food systems.  Class is held:

Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Angell Hall, Aud B

Community members are welcome to attend class, but are asked to register online up to one week prior.  If you are not able to attend, each class session will be recorded and posted on YouTube, and the Food Literacy for All Website.

Reach out to Carolyn Sagi with any questions,, 313-308-0585 (o), 313-580-9822 (c).

Gleaners Programs


Cooking Matters of Southeast Michigan is proud to be one of many amazing programs offered by Gleaners Community Food Bank.

If you have extra time, these excellent programs would love to have your help.

My Neighborhood Mobile Grocery (MNMG) 

MNMG is a weekly pop-up market that provides families and individuals who have low access to affordable, healthy foods with a new and innovative shopping option within their communities. MNMG addresses both economic access as well as physical access to food and helps to reduce food insecurity by extending the shopper’s purchasing power. 

Volunteers are needed to greet and assist shoppers, assemble orders on truck, check and bag orders for customers, and assist with market set-up and tear-down. Volunteers must be age 18 or older. Click here, and reach out to Julie Ptasznik at for more information.

Henry's Groceries for Health

Gleaners Community Food Bank has partnered with Henry Ford Health System to offer groceries to patients struggling with food insecurity.  We're hoping to measurably improve these patients' health.

As one component of this program, we deliver groceries to homebound patients participating with the study.  Volunteers ride in a van with a Gleaners staff member to assist in delivering boxes of food directly to patients' homes.  Opportunities are organized in 3.5 hour shifts, and depart from the Gleaners Detroit warehouse on Beaufait:


8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

12:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.


8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


8:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

12:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Recurring volunteers welcome and encouraged.

Please click here to schedule a shift.

This link requests Volunteers fill out a background check form.  Please make a note that you are a Cooking Matters Volunteer.  The Volunteer Coordinator for Henry's Groceries will coordinate with Carolyn Sagi to use your Cooking Matters approval.

Participant Quote of the Month

Seniors Reading Nutrition Labels

“I learned so much from this class. Now I know how to read food labels and tell my family and friends what they need to look for!”

-Cooking Matters for Adults Participant

Volunteer Spotlight: Tom Urban

Tom Urban 1

Classroom Assistant Tom Urban getting ready for a Cooking Matters for Adults class at Labelle Towers

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I am 61 and retired for the last year and a half. My wife Sharon and I have been married for 36 years and our children are of the 4 legged variety (Bunny the beagle and Alley the cat). She is also retired and we hope to do some traveling in the near future. During my working career I was initially in the skilled trades and worked my way up to positions as a support engineer and energy manager. I also currently volunteer at the Wolcott Mill Farm Center. 

What led you to the Cooking Matters program? 

At my last employer, our group volunteered for a day of packaging food at Gleaners. While there, we got a short tour of the facility and an introduction to what Gleaners does as an organization. At that time, our guide told us about the Cooking Matters program and it sounded pretty neat. Since I like cooking and was looking for some way to give back to the community I thought it would be a good fit. However, I was still working fulltime and didn't have the extra time to commit but I kept it in the back of my mind. Last year, when I did have the time I took the plunge. 

What is your favorite part of volunteering with the Cooking Matters Program? 

I like spreading the Cooking Matters mission. Even though I am just a class assistant, I like the idea of being a part of a larger effort providing helpful information on nutrition and teaching people how to make the right choices in things to eat. 

Do you have a favorite moment from a Cooking Matters Class you would like to share? 

While I have several favorites, what I enjoy the most is when the participants express their gratitude for the class and the information they have learned. That to me, makes it feel like we are making a difference in peoples' lives. 

What ingredients will we always find in your kitchen? 

You will always be able to find whole grain foods, fruits, vegetables and soy milk. While I do have a treat or two available (I like to bake!). I try to practice what Cooking Matters preaches...good nutrition. 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I like to garden, cook and go biking (weather permitting). 

Do you have a recipe you’d like to share? 

One of my favorites is "Sweet Potato Enchiladas". It consists of roasting sweet potatoes, sautéing some green peppers, onion and garlic adding canned tomatoes and some corn then adding cumin, chili powder and oregano. These ingredients along with shredded cheese are then rolled into a tortilla and baked. Served with plain yogurt and salsa, it's very satisfying.

Employment Opportunity with Gleaners Community Food Bank

Gleaners 40th Logo - Square - allborders

There are several positions available on the Gleaners Community Food Bank Team, including the Cooking Matters of Southeast Michigan team.  Each position is briefly described below.  Please visit the Careers page of the Gleaners website for additional information about the essential duties and responsibilities.  

Interested candidates should send resume and cover letter to Krista Cierpial at

Cooking Matters Coordinator
This is a full-time position responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Cooking Matters Program.  Essential duties and responsibilities include:
  • Teach healthy cooking, nutrition and food budgeting to low-income people who are at risk of hunger and malnutrition.
  • Coordinate and facilitate Cooking Matters classes.
  • Coordinate all aspects of partnering agency relations.
Nutrition Coordinator
The Nutrition Coordinator is a full-time position responsible for executing the nutrition education activities of the School Food Mobile Program.  Essential duties and responsibilities include:
  • Coordinate and implement 'healthy choices' nutrition training for pantry site staff and volunteers.
  • Coordinate and implement nutrition education, recipes and tip sheets for pantry customers.
  • Coordinate recipe tastings and other nutrition promotion activities using program implementation guidelines.

Summer Camp Ambassador
This is a seasonal position responsible for the structured play activities at mobile sites three days per week and the day-to-day meal service activities of the Summer Food Service Program, including monitoring meal service procedures at 6-7 community sites daily.  This position is scheduled 30-40 hours per week for the summer months (approximately June through August).

Summer Program Monitor
This is a seasonal position responsible for the day-to-day meal service activities of the Summer Food Service Program, including monitoring meal service procedures at 15-20 community sites daily.  This position is scheduled 30-40 hours per week for the summer months (approximately June through August).

Summer Meal Counter
This is a seasonal position responsible for the day-to-day meal service activities of the Summer Food Service Program, including recording the meal service participation at 8-10 community sites daily.  This position is scheduled 30-40 hours per week for the summer months (approximately June through August).

Employment Opportunity with Eastern Market Corporation

Eastern Market 1 3

Food & Health Fellow
Eastern Market Corporation (EMC) is currently accepting applications for Food & Health Fellows.  Food & Health Fellows support EMC Food Access programs.  Specifically:
  • Eastern Market Farm Stands
  • Eastern Market Tasting Stations
  • Food Assistance Programs
The Food & Health Fellowship is a seasonal opportunity, from May-October.  It is a part-time position, requiring a 25-35 hour per week commitment.  EMC expects to build an 18 to 20 person team who will learn from and engage with a variety of experts and organizations working with EMC to build a more inclusive, resilient, and robust regional food system.

Please visit the employment page of the EMC website to view the full job description.  For more information, interested candidates may also reach out to Nicole Hellar at

Volunteer Opportunity Salvation Army - Warren Corps

The Salvation Army - Warren Corps is seeking volunteer experienced in food preparation to:

  • Help prepare meals on Saturday and Sunday evenings; moving toward managing meal preparation during the two meals.
  • Provide periodic meal preparation support in the event of a local emergency.  

For additional information, contact Captain Shields, 248-565-5113. 

Be on the lookout for new site opportunities!


Do you know an organization that would like to host a Cooking Matters Series?

We are currently seeking suggestions for new Cooking Matters Host Agencies. Potential sites should serve low income populations and be able to recruit 15-18 participants who can commit to a six week series. Please contact Rebecca with any ideas: (313) 923-3535 x 202 or



We would like to extend a warm welcome to the new volunteers who recently attended New Volunteer Orientation and Training:

  • Amy G.
  • Devann M.
  • Kandi H.

This space is reserved for YOU!

Have you recently been featured in the media?  Do you have an accomplishment, event, or opportunity that you would like to share with our readers?  Let us know so that we can include it in the next newsletter!


This material was partially funded by the State of Michigan with federal funds from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by way of the Michigan Nutrition Network at the Michigan Fitness Foundation. This work is supported in part by the Michigan Department of Human Services, under contract number ADMIN-10-99011. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Michigan Fitness Foundation or the Michigan Department of Human Services. In accordance with Federal law and USDA policy, these institutions are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720- 6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides nutrition assistance to people with low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more contact the toll free Michigan Food Assistance Program Hotline at (855) ASK-MICH.
Tel: (313) 923-3535, ext. 257
Cell: (313) 580-9822