Master Food Volunteer Program
Combine your love of cooking, nutrition, physical activity, and helping others by becoming a Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Food Volunteer.
The Master Food Volunteer Program helps Extension reach more Virginians with up-to-date, research-based knowledge on food preparation, nutrition, food safety, and physical activity.
Anyone who has an interest in food preparation, nutrition, food safety, or physical activity can apply. Applicants should possess a desire to enhance their skills and knowledge and enjoy working with people. There is no prior educational requirement for those interested in becoming a Master Food Volunteer.
Volunteers help support Extension’s family and consumer sciences agents through education and outreach efforts. There is something for everyone!
- Health fairs
- Food demonstrations
- Women, Infants, and Children’s Program (WIC)
- Farmers market displays
- Grocery store displays
- 4-H youth programs
- Judge at fairs
- Newspaper or newsletter articles on healthy eating, physical activity, and food preparation
- In-school and after-school programs
- Assist with education at food distribution sites
- Health ministries in your community
- Cooking classes
- Apply for and complete the mandatory 30-hour Master Food Volunteer training course.
- To help support program costs and materials, a fee is required to participate in the training.
- Identify volunteer opportunities that suit your skills and interests.
- Reciprocate with 30 hours of service within one year of training.
Master Food Volunteer Insights
- National Volunteer Month 2019
- Arlington and Alexandria Master Food Volunteers inspire consumers to eat more fruits and vegetables
- Master Food Volunteers and Extension Agents Participate in Continuing Education Event at US Foods
- Master Food Volunteers and Agents Enhance Food Demonstration Skills at Virginia State University
- 2018 National Volunteer Week
In 2014, Melissa Chase, the state coordinator for the Master Food Volunteer Program, visited with Master Food Volunteers around the state to learn more about their experiences as they serve their communities through this program. These Master Food Volunteers will share more in the following videos about how they first became involved in the program; how their volunteering has affected the people they reach; the types of programs they are involved; and how the program has affected them as a volunteer.
Master Food Volunteers should look at professional development opportunities and discuss with their Extension agent. Here are a few ideas to consider:
- For Dr. Young Ju's webinar nutrition topics series, "Get the Facts," click here
- For more information to reduce food waste at home:
- Click here for the webinar, "Consumers and Food Waste: Implications for Individuals and Families." This is an introductory webinar to the topic of reducing food waste at home.
- Click here for the webinar, Consumers and Food Waste: More Tips for Reducing Waste at Home." Also click here to access an article discussed in the webinar
- Penn State University Extension Free Online Courses (lots of choices for food, nutrition, health, agriculture, etc.!)
- ServSafe Food Handler Training (free until April 30)
- ServSafe COVID-19 Takeout and Delivery Precautions (free until April 30)
- FightBac! Partnership for Food Safety Education Hosted Webinars and Knowledge Exchanges
For food and kitchen safety and cooking techniques, check out our video series.
Need more information?
Contact the State Coordinator, Dr. Melissa Chase, to inquire about the availability of the Master Food Volunteer Program.
To request more information, please visit our survey.