Volunteers and Interns
An excellent way to strengthen your educational efforts in the cafeteria is through experiential learning such as Lunchroom Education events. Volunteers and interns are a huge help in this area because they can assist your staff and provide one-on-one engagement with students, which is important for making lasting impressions.
Who Makes a Great Volunteer or Intern?
- Parents, Family Members, and Guardians: By giving caregivers the opportunity to volunteer, not only do they get to spend more time with their kids, but they also serve as informal ambassadors for your school lunch program well beyond their volunteer experience.
- College Students: College students who are studying school- and food-related fields such as education, communication, culinary, nutrition, etc. can be valuable volunteers and interns. This is a win-win for both parties since students gain real-world experience and can sometimes receive school credit for their time.
- High School Students: Engaging high school students from the district is a great teaching and marketing tool. These students learn more about the school lunch program while honing important life skills. Students can sometimes receive volunteer credit for their time.
- Employees from Local Businesses: Local businesses often encourage volunteer service among their employees. Reaching out to these groups is a great way to increase your presence in the community as well as start discussions on partnering opportunities and event sponsorships.
- Local Restaurant Chefs and Cooks: Thanks to reality television, chefs have become cultural icons in American culture, which makes them perfect volunteers for your school food program. Showing kids first-hand the value of cooking is instrumental in developing healthy relationships with food. Chefs Move to Schools is a great movement that we strongly support.
Documents and Resources
Take advantage of the following resources and documents when recruiting volunteers and interns. You can tailor them to meet your program specifications.
- Volunteers and Interns How-To Guide: This guide includes every aspect of planning—from finding and training volunteers to hiring interns.
- Sample Volunteer Guide: This guide sets the standard for your school food program by outlining responsibilities and expectations for your volunteers.
- Sample Intern Ad: We suggest posting through food- and school-related departments at local colleges and universities as well as through online job listings.
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