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Master Food Volunteer Program

    Logo for Master Food Volunteer Program

Combine your love of cooking, nutrition, physical activity, and helping others by becoming a Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Food Volunteer.

The Master Food Volunteer Program helps Extension reach more Virginians with up-to-date, research-based knowledge on food preparation, nutrition, food safety, and physical activity.

Who Can Become a Volunteer?

Anyone who has an interest in food preparation, nutrition, food safety, or physical activity can apply.  Applicants should possess a desire to enhance their skills and knowledge and enjoy working with people.  There is no prior educational requirement for those interested in becoming a Master Food Volunteer.

Opportunities for Service

Volunteers help support Extension’s family and consumer sciences agents through education and outreach efforts. There is something for everyone!

    Volunteers cutting apples during a Master Food Volunteer program offered by VCE
  • Health fairs
  • Food demonstrations
  • Women, Infants, and Children’s Program (WIC)
  • Farmers market displays
  • Grocery store displays
  • 4-H youth programs
  • Judge at fairs
  • Newspaper or newsletter articles on healthy eating, physical activity, and food preparation
  • In-school and after-school programs
  • Assist with education at food distribution sites
  • Health ministries in your community
  • Cooking classes



What is Expected?

  • Apply for and complete the mandatory 30-hour Master Food Volunteer training course.
  • To help support program costs and materials, a fee is required to participate in the training. 
  • Identify volunteer opportunities that suit your skills and interests.
  • Reciprocate with 30 hours of service within one year of training.

Training Topics

  • Basic Nutrition
  • Meal Planning
  • Cooking Techniques
  • Food Safety
  • Exercise and Healthy Lifestyles
  • Working with Diverse Audiences
  • Professional Development

Virginia Farm Bureau highlights Master Food Volunteers in Northern Virginia

Real Virginia features monthly half-hour television programs focusing on stories about agriculture, families, and products from Virginia.


To inquire about the availability of this program in your area of resident in Virginia, please submit this survey. You should receive a response by email from Melissa Chase, State Coordinator, within 48 business hours.


Melissa W. Chase, Ph.D.
State Coordinator, VCE Master Food Volunteer Program
Consumer Food Safety Program Manager
Department of Food Science and Technology (0418)
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA  24061

Contact Melissa Chase to inquire about the availability of the Master Food Volunteer Program. For additional information, please visit our survey.

What Participants are Saying

“I really enjoyed the interactive activities, including group activities.  I am a hands-on person and learn best from seeing and doing.”

“[I learned about] all of the community programs that are out there through the Extension program that we could be of service in, especially helping low-income families.”

“This was an excellent review of all the topics each of us should have learned at our mothers knees---that doesn’t happen in this day and age.”

Master Food Volunteer Program Continuing Education Series