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About Us

What is the UC Master Food Preserver Program?


Food preservation has been a critical activity throughout history.  For more than 100 years, the University of California  (UC) has worked with communities across the state to address economic, agricultural, natural resource, youth development, and nutrition issues. For more than 30 years, UC Master Food Preserver volunteers have shared research-based home food preservation information with the public. The first UC Master Preserver Program started in 1982 and programs are now thriving in 16 counties throughout California, including here in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County.

What We Do

Our program volunteers serve San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.


Volunteers at sourdough workshop with bread samples

We offer monthly workshops in the spring. Topics range from making sourdough bread to canning and dehydrating fruits and proteins and more. We charge a small fee to cover workshop supplies. However, we believe that everyone should have access to science-based food safety and preservation information, regardless of their ability to pay. Therefore, we offer fee waivers for our monthly workshops.

Food Bank Distribution Program

We partner with food banks in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties to provide free information and resources to food bank clientele. We want to help ensure that all members of the community have the tools to safely prepare and preserve food for themselves and their families.

Youth Programs


We partner with UC CalFresh Healthy Living to provide hand-on learning activities through various school and library programs. Together, our goals are to introduce easy preservation techniques, encourage healthy eating habits and empower youth to try fun recipes at home with their families.

Library Programs


We partner with libraries to lead hands-on workshops for kids and adults. We love teaching the community how to turn fresh seasonal fruit into healthy frozen treats or how to preserve garden veggies into shelf stable pantry staples that last for months!

Community Events

Community events are a great way to meet the community and answer questions about our program, food safety and preservation.

Volunteers at information table
Table display at community event









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Three volunteers smiling at a workshop