Frequently Asked Questions

What is Food Literacy?

We define “Food Literacy” as the impact that our food choices have on not only our health, but on our environment, and community.

Where did The Cookbook Project originate?

The recipe for The Cookbook Project has been inspired by a love for food culture, cooking, and community. The founders, Alissa Bilfield and Adam Aronovitz, started facilitating community-based nutrition education projects using food culture as a learning lens in 2010, propelled by a respect for the vibrant food cultures they encountered around the world. As educators and environmentalists with a love for cooking, and a true belief in the power of community-based experiential learning, the team developed the foundation of what is now The Cookbook Project. Today, the Cookbook Project is growing a network of like-minded food literacy educators worldwide.

Should I apply?

Yes! If you are looking at this page and are passionate about the role cooking and food play in preventative health and community building, then we encourage you to apply! To date our most successful Food Literacy Educators (FLEDs) have been educators, camp counselors, after-school staff, health care providers (including health counselors and nutritionists), community leaders and activists (including college and graduate students), and chefs/food professionals. This training will equip FLEDs with the tools to lead a dynamic health education program in their own community. We would love to work with you!

Won’t I get lonely participating online?

We host these trainings online because we have found it’s the most effective way to achieve the highest impact, and the best path towards achieving CBP’s mission to empower youth to be the catalysts for healthier communities through food literacy and cooking education. FLEDs can communicate with fellow trainees through the social network platform in the training program, where you can host group discussions, and plan regional meetups. One of CBP’s pillars is community building, and we strive to make sure that you are engaged as a member of the CBP community. And of course, we are always open to suggestions for building community through the online training programs. Best of all, you can go through the training when and where it’s convenient for you!

What role does fundraising play in The Cookbook Project?

Many applicants choose to raise funds to cover their tuition contribution using platforms such as WeDidIt or GoFundMe. These are also great ways to raise any additional funds you might need to implement your program.

Do I need to be a cooking and nutrition expert to be a Food Literacy Educator?

No! While cooking skills are definitely helpful, they are not a required to join. As part of the program you, will receive valuable resources to expand your own culinary skills and many past FLEDs have commented that one of the greatest benefits of the training was the profound development of their own cooking skills. For example, you will learn how to ferment and sprout foods, soak and cook grains and beans, make your own salad dressing and so much more! As for nutrition knowledge, this training will provide you with a great nutrition base and provide resources from some of the world’s top nutrition schools and holistic health experts. However, our philosophy is that nutrition and health knowledge is present in all traditional food cultures and CBP program participants are the driving force for nutrition knowledge in CBP programs.

How much does the training program cost and where does my tuition contribution go?

The training program tuition contribution is a minimum of $250. The fee is highly subsidized by supporters of The Cookbook Project. There are limited partial and full scholarships available to applicants that demonstrate financial need. In the application process you will have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship if you think you qualify. If not, your admission fee helps us to support scholarships for those who need them. In addition, this funding contribution enables CBP to continue to focus our attention on programming instead of fundraising!

What does a CBP Program look like?

In the FLED Training you will learn to lead CBP programs in your own community, teaching others about food culture and cooking education, and drawing connections between cooking, nutrition, and sustainability. Each CBP curriculum has 14 sessions plus 2-3 ‘floating’ enrichment sessions that can be integrated to fit your schedule. These sessions combine active learning with tasting and cooking sessions. CBP Programs are experiential, and as a Food Literacy Educator, you will be a facilitator while the program participants, whatever their age, actively engage in the learning process.

How much does it cost to run a CBP Program with youth?

Program material costs are estimated to be $15-$40 per participant in the United States for a full length program. Past FLEDs have been able to easily cover these costs by fundraising in their own community with the help of CBP’s tips for fundraising. Grocery stores and farmers markets are very supportive with food costs. Costs may vary depending on how many cooking sessions you are able to implement. In developing nations, this cost is considerably lower, usually between $3-$5 dollars per participant. This estimate includes food supplies, paper, and drawing utensils.

What is the structure of the Online FLED training program?

The online training program is designed so that you can train remotely at your own convenience. Once you have completed the application process you will be provided with access to the training program. At your own pace, you will work through the CBP training through a combination of training videos, curriculum documents, and presentations. Past trainees have commented that they especially loved the flexibility of the program.

Where do programs take place? Do I need a kitchen?

CBP programs are designed to take place in a community kitchen space (e.g. a community center, church, restaurant, school or other educational facility). However, you do NOT need a kitchen to facilitate a program. We recommend a ‘kitchen kit’ in that case, and provide Food Literacy Educators with a guide to put together a mobile kitchen kit of their own.

Programs can be implemented in your own community or abroad. FLEDs that have led domestic programs have gone on to lead programs abroad as well. The potential for reaching an audience with the CBP program is endless and you can continue leading programs into the future.

What is the time commitment for the training program?

In total, the training program is meant to take between two to three hours, but this depends on the amount of time it takes you as an individual learner to digest the curriculum and any additional time you spend reaching out to fellow FLEDs, experimenting in the kitchen, and practicing the curriculum with friends and family. The training includes downloadable curriculum PDF documents, online video modules, and a social network platform that will allow you to connect with other Food Literacy Educators based on your geography and interests.

I don’t currently have an organization to partner with? Can I still apply?

Yes! We’ve helped many FLEDs connect with partner organizations to lead a formal program. Occasionally trained FLEDs choose not to lead a formal program and implement the curriculum in their own homes to build Food Literacy skills for their own children or family and friends.

I’m a student. Can I train? Can I earn college or graduate credit?

Yes! We have trained many college and graduate students who have received valuable course credit for participating in the training program. Some students have supplemented the training with a research component that they’ve presented to their professors for credit. Several students have also implemented CBP programming on their own campus and one group even built an on-campus CBP chapter!

Still have a question? Please contact info@thecookbookproject.org for more info!