What Volunteer Opportunities are available?
Culinary Instructors teach adults, kids, and teens how to cook healthy, low-cost foods using lesson plans and recipes provided in the Cooking Matters curricula. *Culinary instructors are usually either graduates of or enrolled in a two-year culinary training program, or have at least two years’ experience working as a cook or chef
Nutrition Instructors teach adults, kids, and teens how to engage critical thinking to make healthy food choices using the lesson plans provided in the Cooking Matters curricula. *Nutrition instructors are usually either graduates of or enrolled in a dietetics program, or have at least two years’ experience working in nutrition or dietetics.
Class Assistants help instructors and facilitators with classroom setup, food preparation, food shopping, class activities, and cleanup. *No experience necessary.
Who prepares the lesson plans?
The national Cooking Matters staff has developed curricula for all volunteer instructors and course participants. You will receive an instructor guide that includes lesson plans, activities, handouts, and recipes for each week. Nutrition content is based on MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines. Recipes use accessible, low-cost, nutritious ingredient and have been cost-and nutrition-analyzed.
Where are the classes held?
There are several morning, afternoon, and evening classes to choose from in Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland and Wayne counties. Cooking Matters partners with community-based organizations that serve low-income populations. These community partners recruit the participants and provide the course space.
Who are the participants in Cooking Matters courses?
Cooking Matters courses are for those at risk of hunger. They include parents, adults, families, kids, teens, seniors and caregivers. Many participants receive SNAP benefits (formerly Food Stamps) and may access programs like WIC or local food pantries.
How long are the classes?
Classes meet for two hours, once a week on the same day for six weeks.
Do I need to attend every class in the series?
Yes, that is the expectation. But we understand that life happens and there may be times you need to cancel a session.
Do I need to bring anything?
Only the Cooking Matters Instructor Guide. Everything else that is needed… all cookware, food, handouts, stove top, plates, and silverware is brought to class by a Cooking Matters staff member.
Who is present at each Cooking Matters class?
Courses have a culinary instructor, a nutrition instructor, a class assistant and a Cooking Matters staff member who serves as the coordinator. The staff coordinator acts as a support resource for the volunteers, serves as a liaison between Cooking Matters at the host organization, helps ensure classes run smoothly and on time, and brings all necessary kitchen equipment, ingredients, handouts, and materials.
I am a new volunteer. Do I need to attend a training class before I get started?
Yes. A two hour training is held at a variety of times to choose from at Gleaners Community Food Bank in Detroit. You can register for a training class here
How do I register to volunteer for a class series?
You can see a complete listing of all classes available and register to volunteer here
Who do I contact if I have questions about volunteering?
If you have questions about volunteering or need further information about our program, please contact our Volunteer Supervisor, Marci Fitch, at email@example.com or call 313-308-0585.