Since 2014, the San Luis Obispo Master Food Preservers (MFPs) have collaborated with the Food Bank Coalition to bring low-cost food preservation education to SLO community members picking up food from local pantries and distributions. MFP volunteers reach out to food bank staff to see what will be in the distribution, coordinate with other MFP volunteers to provide education the day of the distribution, purchase materials, and put together kits to support safe food preservation practices.
The goal of the program is to increase equitable outreach to people experiencing hunger or food insecurity and to educate people on how to prepare produce, extend the shelf life of foods, and reduce food waste.
Education includes recipes and supplies to get people started with food preservation right away. Pictured below is a pickling kit with recipe. Through funds donated to our program by local community members like you, we are able to provide printed recipes, jars, and small spice kits so all that is needed is cut vegetable for pickling.
Other educational kits have included freezer jam and citrus reamers for extending the shelf life of fruits during those months when we seem to have endless lemons and strawberries here on the central coast.
Overall, we have served almost 3000 food bank recipients and volunteers have provided over 364 hours of their time to this project. In surveys with participants, 98% reported that they learned useful information from the MFP education.
Want to get involved? Contact us to learn more about our classes or how you can become a Master Food Preserver email@example.com or call our helpline at: 805-781-1429.
You can also make a difference by donating to our program during #GivingTuesday. We invite you to “preserve today, relish tomorrow,” and to support our mission to keep Californians safe and well as they use culturally appropriate, research-based practices to safely preserve food in the home.
By donating to the UC Master Food Preserver Program and UC ANR you extend the knowledge and resources of the University to your community. We hope you will join us on November 30! ucanr.edu/GivingTuesday