Master Food Volunteers Complete November ’22 Training

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Extension Master Food Volunteers

Gaston County Center is pleased to announce the newest members of the Extension Master Food Program (EMFP):  Pam Bryson, Harriet Greene, Ann Jenkins, and Patti Wells. The EMFP is the newest volunteer program of N.C. Cooperative Extension and this is Gaston County’s second training cohort since the program began in 2020.

“I had talked to several other Master Food Program volunteers and they said they enjoyed it a lot. I’m always interested in learning new things, especially about food. Learning about food labels and grading was very interesting…amazing how misleading some labels can be!” – Patti Wells

Do you have a passion for food, nutrition, and wellness? Enjoy helping others?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’ll want to learn more about the EMFP. This program is similar to the highly recognized Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program and is designed to provide volunteers the opportunity to support Extension education activities and workshops.

Benefits to you…why be an EMFP Volunteer?

  • Gain cooking and knife skills
  • Receive nutrition and food safety training/information from NC State and NC A & T University
  • Participate in day trips to area food processing plants and research facilities
  • Make connections to your local food system
  • Meet new people who share your interest in food and nutrition – locally and statewide
  • Be a part of N.C. Cooperative Extension’s food, nutrition, and wellness workshops in Gaston County
  • Make a difference throughout your community

Volunteers will be able to be a part of Extension’s programming activities, such as:

  • Conduct cooking demos at farmers markets, churches, and other community locations
  • Assist with physical activity and home canning workshops
  • Provide educational outreach at health fairs and community festivals
  • Assist with Extension youth-based nutrition and cooking workshops
  • Help develop a local foods learning center

What are the requirements to become an EMFP Volunteer?

  • Complete a volunteer application form and screening process
  • Complete 30-hrs training (provided by N.C. Cooperative Extension) – schedule to be determined based on needs of volunteers
  • Complete 30-hrs “shadowing” an agent
  • Complete 20-hrs volunteer service annually
  • Complete 10-hrs continuing education annually (provided by N.C. Cooperative Extension)

Training and continuing education provided through the  EMFP and conducted by Extension’s registered dietitian, Linda J. Minges. Training includes eight, two-hour sessions that will meet weekly. Exact dates and times will be determined based on the availability of volunteers. To learn more:  contact Linda Minges at 704.922.2127 or