Today’s families find themselves wanting to keep up with changes in their world; changes that happen at a faster and faster pace. Whatever your stage of life, Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences programs bring you knowledge you can use to make better decisions and improve your life. We bring you proven, reliable, non-biased information to help you with raising kids, eating right, spending smart, and living well.

 

Virginia Cooperative Extension is looking for qualified applicants to become Master Food Volunteers!

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Participants receive 30 hours of training over four days:

  • Basic nutrition
  • Meal planning
  • Cooking techniques
  • Food safety
  • Working with diverse audiences

At the end of the training, participants are equipped with the knowledge and skills to confidently help others improve their lives through balanced eating and healthy living. In return, participants commit to 30 hours of volunteer service within one year of the training.

Opportunities for service include health fair displays, food demonstrations at farmers' markets, teaching food safety classes, submitting articles to the media on nutrition and wellness, assisting with Extension nutrition programs for youth and adults, and much more!

Extension offers spring and fall training sessions for new Master Food Volunteers in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax. 

Participants are required to attend all four training dates and complete homework to fulfill the 30-hour training requirement.

Spring training in Fairfax - Fridays, March 1, 8, 15, and 22
9:00 am to 3:00 pm

  

Training location:
Human Services - Pennino Building 
Virginia Cooperative Extension
12011 Government Center Parkway, 10th floor
Fairfax, VA 22035

Fee of $120 will cover lunches, training materials, apron, tote bag, and supplies.

1.    Download and complete the Master Food Volunteer Application.
2.    Return the completed application by the application deadline.
By email: masterfoodvolunteer-g@vt.edu
OR
By mail:
Virginia Cooperative Extension Arlington Office
Attn: Jennifer Abel and Katie Strong
3308 S. Stafford St.
Arlington, VA 22206

3.    Applicants will be interviewed to determine their interest and availability. Applicants will    complete a criminal background screening, which is required for all VCE volunteers. 
4.    Payment is due two weeks prior to the first class day. 

Jennifer Abel
Arlington County and Alexandria City
jabel@vt.edu
703-228-6417

Van Do
Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Loudoun County
vando@vt.edu
703-746-5542

Katie Strong
Fairfax County and Arlington County
kstrong@vt.edu
703-324-5203

The Family Nutrition Program's mission is to teach limited-resource families how to make healthier food choices and become better managers of available food resources for optimal health and growth. Our programs focus on basic nutrition, physical activity, safe food handling, and thrifty food shopping.

Program coordinators for limited income families in Fairfax County may contact our local FNP team to learn more. For food, nutrition, and health programming for other audiences, please contact Kathryn Strong.

 

Van Do, Extension Agent

Van collaborates with school teachers, school nurses, school food service staff, county agencies, and other partners to deliver research-based nutrition curricula to limited income families. Her programs teach families and youth how to buy and prepare healthy, affordable meals.

Gabriela Escalante, Program Assistant (Spanish speaking)

Gabriela delivers comprehensive programs--primarily in Spanish--designed for parents of young children and adults of limited income families. Her programs teach skills to buy and prepare healthy, affordable meals.

Saroj Khurana, Program Assistant

Saroj delivers comprehensive programs--primarily in English--designed for parents of young children and adults of limited income families. Her programs teach skills to buy and prepare healthy, affordable meals.

Ellen Mathis, Program Assistant

Ellen delivers programs in English to youth of limited income families. Her fun, interactive programs teach children skills to make healthy choices, handle food safely, and enjoy physical activity. 

The number of consumers preserving foods at home continues to increase, as more consumers emphasize greater control over what they eat and where their food comes from. Failure to adequately preserve foods in the home can result in foodborne illness. Many families don’t have the knowledge to safely preserve their food at home. Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) agents provide a variety of opportunities to fill this educational need.

Extension routinely holds in-service training for FCS agents and food safety educators on canning and food preservation, in order to meet the demand for food preservation information. Throughout the state, FCS agents also provide a variety of home food preservation workshops designed to teach participants how to safely can, freeze, or dry their own foods. The types of food preservation support provided include:

  • General informational canning classes
  • Canning demonstrations at community events
  • Hands-on boiling water bath canning classes to teach how to safely can high acid foods
  • Hands-on pressure canning classes to teach how to safety can low acid foods
  • Pressure dial gauge inspections
  • Individualize home preserver support via phone/e-mail