Why I Volunteer
Garfield County, Colorado – When Jesse Garcia read, “Cooking Matters brings healthy foods options to low-income families without breaking the bank” last year in the Aspen Times, he knew he wanted to get involved. He soon began volunteering as a Culinary Instructor in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs and now enthusiastically shares with others why he volunteers and the importance of Cooking Matters.
Jesse explains that he never had a healthy relationship with food until he moved to Colorado in 2008 and began working in a hotel kitchen at Aspen’s Snowmass resort. After starting to volunteer with Cooking Matters, Jesse told his brothers, “I’m no professional chef, but the fact that I can share my years of culinary experience and my story with people who want to grow and learn is amazing.”
Jesse grew up in Garden Grove, California with his single mom and five brothers. He recalls, “Food was always a challenge. Not only to put on the table, but to put healthy food on the table. I grew up in a city where fast food places were a dime-a-dozen. We had to resort to stuff we didn’t know was unhealthy, it was just the right price.”
Once he began working in the hospitality industry, Jesse learned about the importance of healthy food. He loves sharing with Cooking Matters participants that, “Healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming or even fancy. It is out there and can be fun!”
Jesse says one of his favorite parts of volunteering is building trust and relationships with those in his community. “It’s a great way to give back to your community with your skills and knowledge. To be able to have an impact that is forever-lasting on people is why I volunteer. You teach basics they are going to remember and take on forever.”