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.

VCE is excited to offer 3 virtual sessions of Stanford University's Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) this spring. If you or a loved one is living with a chronic condition, you know that how people manage their conditions on a day to day basis greatly determines their symptoms and quality of life. CDSMP participants practice evidence-based tools to control their symptoms, better manage their health problems, and lead fuller lives.

Apply here by April 22, 2022 at 5 PM 

  • Mondays 11 AM to 1:30 PM: May 2, 9, 16, 23, (no session May 30); June 6, 13 [Leaders: April Payne & Katie Strong]
  • Tuesdays 11 AM to 1:30 PM: May 17, 24, 31; June 7, 14, 21 [Leaders: April Payne & Vanessa Santiago]
  • Thursdays 9:30 AM to noon: May 5, 12, 19, 26; June 2, 9 [Leaders: Vanessa Santiago & Katie Strong]

Who should apply? Adults who have or care for someone with a chronic health condition such as anxiety/depression, arthritis, autoimmune disease, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, long COVID, and more.

What should participants expect? Participants meet 6 times over Zoom and agree to attend at least 4 of the 6 sessions, join sessions from a private area to maintain confidentiality, and keep video cameras on for the whole session. 

How much does it cost? There is no fee for this program.

Questions?

April Payne, Extension Agent, Spotsylvania and Stafford | arpayne@vt.edu

Vanessa Santiago, Extension Agent, Warren, Frederick, Clarke, Shenandoah, Page | vsantiago@vt.edu

Katie Strong, Extension Agent, Fairfax | kstrong@vt.edu

Become a Master Food Volunteer

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Participants receive 30 hours of training over 8 weeks:

  • 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!

The next training for new Master Food Volunteers in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax is expected in 2023. 

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

Application deadline: TBD   

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

Applications will open when the 2023 training date is scheduled.

Katie Strong, M.S., R.D.

Fairfax 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.

Vacant, Extension Agent
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. This program teaches families and youth how to buy and prepare healthy, affordable meals.

Vacant, Program Assistant (Spanish speaking)
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.

Shumaila Inayat, Program Assistant (English speaking)
Shumaila 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. 

Vacant, Program Assistant
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.

Vacant, Program Assistant
Delivers programs in English to youth of limited income families. This fun, interactive program teaches 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