Cooking Matters seeks volunteer nutrition instructors to facilitate nutrition lessons and activities for cooking and nutrition classes in low-income communities.
About Cooking Matters
Cooking Matters offers cooking and nutrition classes focused on maximizing food resources to community members in low-income areas. We provide hands-on education, combining cooking, nutrition, menu planning, budgeting, kitchen safety and sanitation.
Each Cooking Matters class is led by a team of three trained volunteers - a Chef, a Nutrition Instructor and a Class Assistant - who work alongside a staff coordinator to facilitate fun, lively and informative classes for participants. Volunteers work with the participants on educational activities and preparing a shared meal. Classes are held at community organizations, public and transitional housing sites, schools, and other service-providing agencies throughout Seattle and King County.
Nutrition Instructor Role
As an instructor, you must have a strong background in nutrition, food science, dietetics or a related field. Important things to discuss include the MyPlate model as a tool for healthy eating, planning balanced meals, benefits of fruits and vegetables, food budgeting, label reading, whole grains and fiber, and physical activity. Classes are interactive and nutrition instructors often act as facilitators for the activities to teach and reinforce the lessons for each week. Nutrition instructors also serve as positive role models by emphasizing the benefits of nutritious eating and motivating participants to improve their eating habits.
Classes meet once a week for six weeks. Each week the classes require a time commitment of two hours plus 30 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes of clean up. Volunteers are encouraged to contribute to all facets of the class, including lesson planning, setup, cleanup and food preparation. All together for one course series, you will commit about 18 hours of volunteer time, in addition to any lesson planning and prep.
Once you attend the Solid Ground New Volunteer Orientation and complete the volunteer application process, please attend our Cooking Matters New Volunteer Training, where you will learn more about Cooking Matters and volunteer expectations, including getting your Food Handler’s Permit. Next you will be asked to observe a class already in session. After the orientation and observation, you will be able to sign up for any open volunteer class positions. We also offer Chef and Nutrition training for those interested in practicing how to facilitate cooking and nutrition with groups, in addition to offering other trainings as needed.
- Interest/background in nutrition
- Ability to work with staff, volunteers and participants with a variety of racial, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, lifestyles and sexual orientations
- Ability to be non-judgmental, positive, respectful, creative, consistent and flexible
- Willingness to work both as part of a team and independently
- Some teaching experience preferred, and bilingual abilities (especially Spanish) is a huge plus!
Good Match For
Requirements & Commitment
- Background Check
- Must be at least 18
- Orientation or Training
- 3 hours weekly for 6-7 weeks
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