At the heart of Cooking Matters are the chefs, nutritionists, and support volunteers who donate their invaluable time and extraordinary talents to help low-income families develop the skills they need. Join us on the frontlines as a Cooking Matters volunteer in one of the following roles:

  • Chef Instructors teach adults, kids, and teens how to cook and shop for healthy, low-cost foods. They combine their own knowledge and experience with the lesson plans and recipes provided in the Cooking Matters curricula. Chef volunteers are usually either graduates of or enrolled in a two-year culinary training program or have at least two years working as a cook or chef.
  • Nutrition Instructors teach adults, kids, and teens how to make healthy choices. They use the lesson plans and instructional materials provided in the Cooking Matters curricula, along with their own expertise. Nutrition volunteers are typically graduates of or enrolled in dietetics programs or have at least two years working in a nutrition or dietetics position.
  • Support Volunteers help before, during and after classes. Duties may include shopping for food, handing out and collecting class materials, engaging reluctant participants, helping with set up and clean up, or taking photos during class to help record the Cooking Matters course experience.

The teens took to the kitchen like oil to a frying pan. They were rambunctious, enthusiastic, witty and eager to learn. I knew immediately we were going to have a good time. [And,] as we sat down to eat, our paper plates piled high with the simple but satisfying food they’d prepared, all our differences seemed to fade away. Food had become our common ground.”

- Cooking Matters Chef Volunteer, Raleigh N.C.

Take the next step and sign up using the volunteer inquiry form.

Educational Outreach:

Culinary and nutrition professionals may also be interested in getting involved with other educational outreach activities, such as guided supermarket tours, that show adults how to purchase and prepare nutritious foods in healthful, affordable and tasty ways.

  • Cooking Matters at the Store Tour Facilitators offer interactive, guided grocery store tours that help participants learn to make healthy purchasing choices on a limited budget. Using our facilitator guide and support resources, these facilitators organize tours in their own communities – recruiting participants, choosing the tour location, and planning and leading the tour. Potential facilitators might include registered dieticians and community nutritionists, culinary professionals, Cooperative Extension agents, and staff of community agencies who are interested in helping low-income families make the most of their food resources.Learn more about Cooking Matters at the Store and take the next step to become a tour facilitator by clicking here.