Volunteer Nutrition Instructor


Volunteer Opportunity:

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

Cooking Matters nutrition instructors teach multi-session class series, using the lesson plans and recipes for each class provided in an established curricula. Volunteer nutrition instructors work in partnership with culinary instructors to lead class, teach nutrition lessons, and highlight nutrition information during food preparation.

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:

  • Professional training or experience in the field of nutrition
    • Nutrition instructors are usually either graduates of or enrolled in a dietetics program, or have at least two years experience working in nutrition or dietetics
  • Interest in working with low-income individuals with diverse backgrounds
  • Dedication to helping alleviate hunger and poverty
  • Comfort speaking in front of an audience
  • Ability to travel to class locations
  • Willingness to be trained in the Cooking Matters curricula
  • Willingness to work as a team and adhere to program policies and procedures



  • Use USDA MyPlate guidelines to engage participants in discussions about the challenges and benefits of eating healthy
  • Suggest strategies that will help participants to incorporate more inexpensive, healthy foods into their meals
  • Teach key skills, such a label reading, using hands-on activities
  • Refer participants to resources provided in the participant books during the lesson, and encourage them to continue using the information in their everyday lives
  • Review key messages that have already been covered as the course progresses
  • Ask open-ended questions and invite participants to share their own knowledge and experiences
  • Refer to information that has been presented by other volunteers and coordinator, and invite co-instructors to share their expertise by contributing to the conversation and elaborating on specific concepts and ideas
  • Answer subject specific questions using background expertise and training


Time commitment:

  • Teaching 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
  • Preparing for class: at least ½ hour of preparation for each class in a series
  • Training: orientation, class observation, ongoing training as needed


Benefits of Volunteering:

  • Make a real difference in people’s lives
  • Gain teaching experience
  • Build your resume
  • Meet new and diverse groups of people
  • Put knowledge to use in a practical way with substantial results
  • Share your knowledge and talent
  • 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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