How to host the learning Kitchen


  • Schools, especially where at least 50% of students qualify for free or reduced price meals*
  • Low income family housing sites
  • After-school programs targeted to low income youth
  • Parent-child centers
  • Health and community centers
  • Other centers or programs that target low-income youth, young adults, or adults

*Other sites may apply, but class participation must comply with eligibility criteria below.

Eligibility Guidelines

The learning kitchen classes are targeted to Vermonters from low-income households. Those whose incomes are at or below 185% of the federal poverty level (see chart, below), or who qualify for free or reduced price school meals or for the WIC, Reach Up, or 3SquaresVT programs are considered "eligible" participants.

Important: The majority (i.e. more than half) of participants must be eligible participants.

The current income guidelines for 185% of the poverty level based on how many people are in the participant's household are:



THE HOST COORDINATOR is the primary contact person for the series and generally is the person who fills out the application. Responsibilities of the Host Coordinator include:

  • Generating enthusiasm in the community for The Learning Kitchen!
  • Recruiting and coordinating instructors and supporters
  • Recruiting eligible participants
  • Identifying a suitable location
  • Accounting for granted funds
  • Arranging for the purchase of groceries for in-class cooking activities
  • Completing all necessary paperwork
  • Attending each lesson

THE NUTRITION EDUCATOR is responsible for delivering the program curriculum to participants. The Nutrition Educator should be well-versed in health and nutrition and capable of effectively teaching a group of participants.

THE CHEF is responsible for leading participants through the cooking portion of the curriculum.The chef does not need to be a professional, but professional chefs enhance the program quality. Chefs should provide tips, techniques and safety information in addition to guiding participants through the creation of the lesson recipes. The Chef needs to feel comfortable leading a group of participants in the kitchen.

Time commitment: Each TLK class lasts approximately 2-2 1/2 hours.  Additional prep time outside of class varies, but will typically require at least an extra hour or more.  Instructors should expect to commit a minimum of 3 1/2 hours each week for 6 weeks.  Host responsibilities may require even more time, depending on how much support is available.