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master food volunteers prepare food at a demonstration

From the Cookbook to the Community: Who are Master Food Volunteers?

By: Gabrielle Sanderson

The famous red and white cookbook Joy of Cooking is a timeless classic for any kitchen, and it’s referenced throughout the training manual for the Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Food Volunteer program. Just as Joy of Cooking educates its readers about the food they are preparing, Master Food Volunteers (MFV) are able to reach and educate people around Virginia about food preparation, nutrition, food safety, and physical activity. The program allows volunteers to merge their appreciation of cooking, nutrition, and physical activity with the act of  helping others. Melissa Chase, Master Food Volunteer Virginia State Coordinator, states that an aspect that draws people to this program is “their love of cooking,” although their love for volunteering fuels their passion as well. Continue reading

vegetables on chopping board

Food For Thought: Planting the Seeds of Health and Gardening in Young Minds

By: Courtney Graves

If you think it’s difficult getting middle school students to eat fruits and vegetables, try having them grow and cook their own too. That’s exactly what the Master Food Volunteer Program, with the help of Extension Master Gardeners of the Virginia Cooperative Extension, is doing with their “Food For Thought” project. The program has established four 45-minute classes each quarter at James Madison Middle School in Roanoke, Virginia to show kids the benefits of making food for themselves. Students learn plant anatomy, gardening techniques, and cooking skills that they can later share with their families.

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