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Head Start Kitchen Aide

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JOB TITLE: Volunteer Kitchen Aide

SUPERVISOR: Lead Teacher, Teacher or Home Visitor

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Works cooperatively with classroom staff on a consistent basis, becoming familiar with the daily nutrition schedule and activities, along with the Head Start philosophy.

REQUIREMENTS: Attends a volunteer training

SKILLS NEEDED: Friendly, warm personality. Able to work with children. Emotionally mature and able to follow directions. Displays a positive attitude and respects client confidentiality.

TASKS: Prepares breakfast and/or lunch daily for center and combination programs according to program menus and recipes, substituting only in an emergency and only with prior approval of the Nutrition Manager. Serves food family style and eats with children. Works with children in the classroom setting and clearing tables. Cleans kitchen appliances, utensils and food daily in a clean and orderly manner.

EXPECTED RESULTS: Increased understanding of the Head Start nutrition program. Provides adequate role modeling for children. Increased ability to work with children and adults. Follows directions and is able to implement ideas. 

RESOURCES: Guidance from Lead Teacher, Teacher or Home Visitor Nutrition curriculum, written materials

The kitchen aide may become a paid substitute kitchen aide as follows:

For Center Based: After volunteering 20 hours in the kitchen or classroom and after attending the volunteer training.

For Home Based: After volunteering 15 hours in the kitchen or classroom and after attending the volunteer training.

GUIDANCE FOR VOLUNTEER TRAINING KITCHEN AIDE: Menus must be followed. Changes must be approved by Nutrition Specialist. Food Amounts/Recipes - lists foods to be prepared and amounts for each food item according to number of children and adults present each day. There must be at least 2-1/2 hours between the start of breakfast and the start of lunch (volunteers can be given a day's schedule). Food is not used as punishment or reward; children are encouraged but not forced to eat. Size and number of servings (shown on food amounts) reflect consideration of children's needs/abilities. Example: sandwiches cut in 1/4 (shown on recipes). Each child should be given sufficient time to eat. Children and staff, including volunteers, eat together in a relaxed atmosphere. Food is served family style so children can be involved in establishing good eating habits. Children are encouraged to pour, pass, and mop up spills, etc. by themselves. Talk at meal times should be centered around children's interests and about nutrition.

FMI: Contact Ericka Sanborn, Volunteer Coordinator, at 459-2938 or email


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