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Extension Master Food Volunteers

What is the Extension Master Food Volunteer Program?

Interest in food, cooking, and local food is at an all-time high. The Extension Master Food Volunteer (EMFV) program is designed to engage residents in food and nutrition programming in their community and train volunteers to further expand the reach of N.C. Cooperative Extension.

The EMFV program will allow FCS agents to train volunteers to support their food and nutrition programming and promote local food, thereby building their capacity to deliver high quality, evidence-based interventions.

Who is the EMFV program for?

This program is ideal for volunteers who are interested in formalizing and deepening their training and involvement with Cooperative Extension. This includes the existing volunteer base of the Extension and Community Association (ECA), Master Gardener℠ volunteers, 4-H leaders, and volunteers with the NC 10% Campaign. In addition, we hope to engage new stakeholder groups, including individuals who are passionate about food, cooking, and local food, as well as community members who participate in Cooperative Extension programs (such as SNAP-Ed, EFNEP, or Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More).

What topic areas will the EMFV Program cover?

Core Curriculum (30 hours):

• Basic Nutrition • Risk Management • Food Safety and Preservation
• Cooking Demonstrations • Teaching Strategies • Food Systems and Local Food
• Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity • History of Extension and FCS • Evidence-based Programming

What types of activities will volunteers support?

  • Educational displays at health fairs and community events
  • Farmers’ market cooking demonstrations and nutrition displays; tours
  • Integrating nutrition education and outreach with community and school gardens
  • Community cooking classes
  • Judging foods at County and State Fairs
  • Support for 4-H/youth leaders
  • Giving public presentations about the food system and local foods
  • Assistance with education at food distribution sites
  • Promoting and using the NC 10% Campaign
  • Contribute to newsletters

What are some of the logistics of the EMFV program?

Volunteers will be expected to attend thirty hours of core training, with an additional ten hours of training for elective program support and yearly continuing education. Training sessions will include a mixture of online and face-to-face formats, and some modules will overlap with the Master Family and Consumer Science Volunteer training. After initial training, volunteers will shadow agents for one year (30 hours), assisting with classes and other activities. After the first year, volunteers will be able to perform some tasks independently, depending on their capacity (please note, due to liability concerns, volunteers will not be allowed to conduct food preservation demonstrations or classes independently). Volunteers will always require some level of agent supervision. A web-based tool will be used to manage a volunteer calendar and allow volunteers to report their own hours (based on the Extension Master Gardener volunteer system).

Contact FCS Agent Janice Roberts if interested 910-997-8255