Flexibility: High

Social Engagement: High

What’s What: People everywhere are concerned about eating well and staying healthy. If cooking and nutrition are something you care about, you can make a difference.

Amava Take: Schools, community gardens, farmer’s markets and nonprofits are all concerned with changing the culture and teaching people (particularly kids) to make healthy food choices. There’s also a big push to democratize healthy living, so initiatives for sustainable and affordable food-sourcing abound. If cooking and nutrition speak to you, you can speak to others and help them make better choices.

From the Front Lines:

What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these positions?

Dedicated, outgoing and well-spoken people who are comfortable teaching and sharing what they know.

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

If the organization you are helping out offers or requires training, embrace the opportunity to learn before you start to teach.

What’s a typical daily schedule like?

Generally pretty flexible, most sessions are a few hours at most.

From the Trenches:  

What’s the most satisfying part of the job/experience?

Showing people, especially kids, that healthy food can be delicious.

How would you describe the hard parts?

It is upsetting when people think healthy food has to automatically be expensive.

What’s the most fun food you ever saw someone love for the first time?

Golden beets!

Special Requirements: Many organizations require training. Sometimes it will be online, other times in person. If you’re working in partnership with a school or in a school setting, there may be background checks in some cases. You don’t have to be a professional chef or certified nutritionist.

Finding a Position:  National organizations with partners in many locations offer various volunteer cooking and nutrition education positions. Many regions of the country have their own cooking and nutrition organizations, such as this one in the Berkshires and this healthy food organization in the San Francisco Bay Area. You can also start a school breakfast program in your community.