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Join UD’s Master Food Educator Class of 2018

Be a part of one of Delaware’s fastest growing volunteer forces! Become a Master Food Educator!

Michael Hadley, one of Extension’s Master Food Educator expert volunteers

Many people have heard about Extension’s Master Gardener program, but did you know there is a similar volunteer program focused on food and health?

The University of Delaware Cooperative Extension will hold 2018 training classes on Mondays and Thursdays from March 5 to April 12, 2018, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.at the Kent County Extension office, 69 Transportation Circle, Dover, Delaware, 19901. Applications to the program are due by Friday, Feb. 16, 2018.

The Master Food Educator (MFE) program is designed for individuals who have an interest in nutrition, food preparation, health, wellness and the education of youth and adults. University of Delaware Cooperative Extension educators will provide participants with the information and training needed to help expand the nutrition education efforts across Delaware. The volunteers work in local communities and with organizations assisting with the ongoing initiatives of our organization.

“The UD Cooperative Extension staff of health educators is a small group and the need for our work to help Delawareans is great,” says Kathleen Splane, program leader for Extension’s Family & Consumer Science program.  “Our Master Food Educator volunteers impact the health of Delawareans in many ways– creating programs, delivering programs, and doing behind the scenes work for us such as food preparation for cooking demos.

Splane said that during the 2017 program year 29 Master Food Educators volunteered to support 48 workshops, 46 public events and assisted in judging nine events serving over 1,548 hours to Cooperative Extension’s outreach efforts. “These dedicated volunteers invigorate me as they are so dedicated to the mission of Cooperative Extension,” Splane said.

Since the inception of the program in Delaware, Master Food Educators have staffed educational displays at locations such as the Delaware State Fair, Ag Day, health fairs and expos at schools and businesses. Additionally, Master Food educators have assisted with or conducted workshops or demonstrations on topics such as food safety, foods selection/preparation, nutrition and diet and stretching your food dollar. They have also offered school-based educational programs and assisted with the development of new educational resources.

“Becoming a Master Food Educator has enhanced my life both personally and professionally,” volunteer Gail Hermenau said.  “It was through the MFE training that I increased my knowledge base about health and nutrition and learned new ways to share that information using a variety of teaching styles.”

Hermenau credits the huge impact the program has had on the community, adding that the experience instilled in her both the confidence to share this information with members of her community and the freedom to use her creativity in engaging new audiences.

Registrations for the newest Master Food Educator Training courses are now open. Applications are available on the Master Food Educator website.

Individuals who are interested in nutrition, diet and health issues, want to learn, would enjoy working with and helping others or want to be affiliated with a professional organization are perfect candidates for this program.  

For more information, contact: Cheryl Bush New Castle County 302-831-1327

Courses are open to the public without regard to race, color, sex, handicap, age or national origin. This program provides participants 30 hours of training in the areas of nutrition, diet, health, food safety, food selection and preparation. Cooperative Extension is looking to those who would be willing to take the course and then volunteer 40 hours of time over the next year. Volunteers may choose how they give back time but suggestions might include assisting with the presentation of workshops such as Dining with Diabetes, Eat Smart for a Healthy Heart, Stretching Your Food Dollar and others or participating in other public programs sponsored by Cooperative Extension.