Congratulations to our 2019 Volunteer Hall of Fame Inductees!
Volunteers are essential to the work we do at Cooking Matters. Our volunteers increase our capacity, magnify our impact, and bring a gamut of personal strengths that help families feel connected and empowered to eat healthy, low-cost meals.
We are grateful for all of our volunteers, but each year, we are proud to acknowledge a few exceptional volunteers that have been inducted into the Cooking Matters Volunteer Hall of Fame. This honor is reserved for those dedicated volunteers who have taught 15 or more courses. We at Cooking Matters Colorado are grateful for all that these volunteers do and for the years they have dedicated to ending childhood hunger in their communities. Read more about these remarkable individuals and the impact they make:
"When I got started with Cooking Matters, I was a student studying nutrition at UCCS. Volunteering with Cooking Matters started as a requirement for one of my classes. I remember thinking I did not want to do any more volunteering, since my major had required it in other classes. I reluctantly signed up for my first class. When I got to the class on the first day, it was only the class coordinator and me, so I was going to be the nutrition educator. I was so nervous, because I had never been good at speaking in front of a group. But Jessica, who was the coordinator at the time, pushed me and encouraged me to do my best. I made it through that first class, and I had so much fun and enjoyed teaching and helping others so much that I kept going.
I never thought I would enjoy myself so much, but the people involved with Cooking Matters gave me so many great experiences. Seeing how much everyone cares about the purpose of Cooking Matters and the people and families in each class was inspiring. It was contagious to be around people who wanted to serve others. Between that and the personal growth I found in the classes, I will always appreciate everything that the program does."
"My name is Helen Orozco and I’m 21 years old. I’m currently majoring in dietetics at the University of Northern Colorado. I got involved with Cooking matters about 3 years ago. My mother too was a volunteer with the program and she asked me to help her out with one of her classes because she was low on volunteers. During the time I was trying to pursue a culinary career and thought it would give me great experience. Since then I have learned good life skills like proper cooking techniques and how to cook healthy, fun recipes. I hope to continue to volunteer in the future!"
Liz started cooking at an early age. She remembers standing on a step stool to reach the stove and making scrambled eggs as a toddler. Her grandmother was a farm woman in Nebraska who grew her own vegetables, raised her own beef, and bought her dairy products from the "butter and egg man." Liz remembers helping her grandmother cook lunch for hungry farm hands in a small cabin near the fields. Between her grandmother and her mother, Liz learned basic cooking skills.
For over 6 years, Liz worked as a personal chef in the DC/Baltimore area, helping people eat healthy, home-cooked meals even when they didn't have time to cook them. While working at a shelter for homeless families, Liz saw first-hand how little people knew about cooking and nutrition. About the same time, she saw an article in the Denver Post about Cooking Matters. She volunteered for her first class shortly thereafter and taught her 15th class in August 2018. Cooking Matters has opened up a whole new world for Liz, that of food security and the importance of cooking and nutrition knowledge to everyone, including the food-insecure. She is currently serving in an AmeriCorps program at a food bank/free food market in Parker, Colorado through Boomers Leading Change (also a Cooking Matters partner).
To honor this momentous milestone, we are thanking these volunteers with:
- Letter of appreciation
- Recognition platque
- Personalized Cooking Matters apron (Nutrition Instructors & Class Assistants)
- Personalized Cooking Matters chef coat (Culinary Instructors)