Volunteer Class Assistant

Volunteer Opportunity:

Empower low-income individuals with skills that will help them select, purchase, and prepare delicious and healthy foods at home.

Volunteer class assistants perform a wide variety of tasks to support participants and volunteer instructors in a multi-session class series, using resources provided in an established curricula.

Each class series meets once a week for six weeks and is coordinated by a Cooking Matters staff member. Classes are offered for adults, teens, children, families, and child care providers. They are held at community agencies in Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, and Wayne counties.   Cooking Matters provides all materials needed for class including instructor guides, participant handouts, cooking supplies, and food.


Qualifications and Requirements

  • Flexibility
    • Specific responsibilities will vary based on the needs of the site and participants
  • Interest in working with low-income individuals with diverse backgrounds
  • Dedication to helping alleviate hunger and poverty
  • Ability to lift 20 pounds
  • Ability to travel to class locations
  • Ability to multitask and take on a number of responsibilities, as needed
  • Willingness to work as a team and adhere to program policies and procedures
  • Willingness to be trained in the Cooking Matters curricula


Responsibilities May Include:

  • Setting up the space prior to class
  • Helping participants sign in and complete course paperwork
  • Assisting with group activities
  • Assembling participant grocery bags
  • Supporting participants while they prepare the recipe
  • Sharing budgeting tips and tricks
  • Taking photos
  • Keeping track of the time
  • Leading discussions about the importance of physical activity
  • Asking open-ended questions about the participants’ preferences and experiences
  • Reviewing key messages from each week’s nutrition and cooking lessons
  • Washing dishes
  • Cleaning up the space after class
  • Shopping for the groceries for the clas
  •  Preparing food samples for tastings


Time commitment:

  • Assisting in class: at least 3 hours a week for six weeks, plus travel time to and from class locations
    • Each class in a series is two hours long, and volunteers are requested to arrive a half hour in advance and plan on staying half an hour after the course end time
  • Training: orientation, class observation, ongoing training as needed


Benefits of Volunteering:

  • Make a real difference in people’s lives
  • Gain experience in the classroom setting
  • Build your resume
  • Meet new and diverse groups of people
  • Learn about healthy low-cost cooking and nutrition
  • Do something meaningful and have fun!


To learn more or volunteer, please contact:

Carolyn Sagi
Cooking Matters Volunteer Coordinator
Gleaners Community Food Bank
(313) 923-3535 ext. 257

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