Food Volunteers Wanted

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Okay, admit it. You watch cooking shows on television or YouTube and say to yourself, “I could do that.” You can!

Or perhaps you really like to cook and would like to share those skills with others. You can!

extension master food volunteering holding dish he prepared

If you like cooking, eating, local food work, or just simply – food, volunteering with N.C. Cooperative Extension may be just the opportunity for which you’ve been looking. I’m talking about the Extension Master Food Volunteer (EMFV) program. Applications are now being accepted and training will start in September. 

The EMFV program, similar to the highly recognized Extension Master Gardener℠ Volunteer (EMGV) program, is designed to provide volunteers the opportunity to support Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) agents with food-related programming. Volunteers with the EMFV program will receive a core curriculum of 30 hours of training and will then shadow the FCS agent for 30 hours during their first year.

food corps service member and extension master food volunteer preparing broccoli

Volunteers will be assisting with food prep and cooking, nutrition education, food safety classes, and conducting cooking and food demonstrations in the community. They will also have the opportunity to work with health fairs and farmers’ market displays, 4-H youth programs, and in-school and after-school programs. Volunteer opportunities can also include virtual programming, writing fact sheets and newsletter articles, and taking photos of food. To learn more about this program, there will be an interest meeting on August 16, 2021, hosted on Zoom. This will give potential applicants a chance to learn more about the program and ask questions. Applications will be available and are due August 23.

Training will include classes on nutrition, food safety and preservation, food systems, cooking techniques, and how to conduct a cooking demonstration. There will be both virtual and in-person training. In-person sessions will be at the  N.C. Cooperative Extension, Brunswick County Center at the Government Complex in Bolivia. These training classes will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays mornings beginning September 14. The cost of the program is $30. 

Extension Master Food Volunteers have been active in Brunswick County for the past four years. We were a pilot county and one of the first in the state to train Extension Master Food Volunteers. We currently have 10 volunteers in the Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender County area. This is your chance to join them.

Cheryle Syrcause will be part of the FCS team teaching the volunteers as well as faculty from NC State University Foods and Nutrition Department. After training the volunteers will be working directly with Meghan Lassiter, our Family and Consumer Science Extension Agent here in Brunswick County. 

Extension Master Food Volunteers at Wellness Fair

N.C. Cooperative Extension is in all 100 North Carolina counties as well as the Eastern Band of Cherokee. North Carolina is home to two land-grant universities—NC State University and N.C. A&T State University. These universities serve our state through Extension by extending research-based knowledge to the public. Extension’s faculty, staff, and volunteers work with local government to support agriculture, horticulture, nutrition, and health, as well as a variety of consumer, youth, and economic programs. You can join our team.

For an application or for more information about this 2021 EMFV class, visit our website or call or email Lassiter at

Cheryle Syracuse wrote this article and more similar ones for the Family and Consumer Sciences Column in the Brunswick Beacon. Syracuse is an FCS team member and can be reached at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Brunswick County Center, 910-253-2610.