Food for Life Training: Frequently Asked Questions

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Translating Nutrition Research into Community Education: A Workshop for Implementing Diet-Related Chronic Disease Curricula

Food for Life Training: Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs: Food for Life Instructors 

Q: Do you hold instructor trainings in other locations?
A: No. Instructor trainings are only offered at our office in Washington, D.C.

Q: Do you offer the training online?
A: No. Instructor trainings are in-person events at our office¬in Washington, D.C.

Q: Can people outside the US become instructors?
A: Yes! We have instructors in many different countries and welcome applications from any location. All training lectures are only offered in English.

Q: How often do you hold instructor trainings?
A: Instructor trainings are held once a year.

Q: What credentials do I need to be an instructor?
A: There are no credentialing prerequisites.

Q: What makes a successful applicant?
A: Successful applicants demonstrate their capability to find a venue to teach classes, market and fill classes held at that venue, teach regularly,  ability to engage well with class participants, and will present the material in a positive manner. We also look for applicants who will act as a compassionate guide to people looking to get healthy with a plant-based diet. Food for Life classes are designed to help people transition to a healthful diet. We only present plant-based food options, although we understand that people may not jump in right away. We seek instructors who will react with positivity and encouragement.

Q: Do I really have to make a video?
A: Yes. All applications are required to include a 3-5 minute cooking demo. We want to see an example of how you would teach class attendees to make a dish. Applications without a video, or whose video is not accessible, will not be considered.

Q: Can instructors teach classes online?
A: No. Once certified, instructors must teach live, in-person classes. A key component of the class structure is the sense of community built during the classes, the ability to see and smell the food cooked, and the opportunity to taste it.

Q: How much money can I make teaching classes?
A: Instructors set their own rates for how much they charge for classes and how often they teach. Instructors are able to make as much money as they are able based on their own business model.

Q: What do you mean by “franchise”?
A: Instructors are trained and certified to teach the class program that we have designed. We require that all instructors teach the same material to ensure programmatic uniformity. “Franchise” is used as a word to quickly describe the Food for Life business model.

Q: Do I have to pick one type of class to teach, or will I be certified to teach all of them?
A: Upon completion of the training, instructors are certified to teach all of the designed curricula within the Food for Life program.

Q: Do you offer any discounts or scholarships?
A: No. Instructors are responsible for the full tuition amount plus travel and accommodation expenses.

Q: Do I have to be vegan/plant-based?
A: Yes. All instructors are required to follow a plant-based diet 100 percent. That means no meat, dairy, eggs, or animal products of any kind. Applicants who are new to this way of eating (less than a year) are encouraged to provide details that help the review team understand that this is a permanent change.

Q: Are travel expenses paid if selected to go to the training in D.C.?
A: No. Travel and accommodation expenses for the three-day training in Washington, D.C., are the responsibility of the applicant. The training includes breakfasts and lunch on two days (facilitated by PCRM).

Q: Will I be compensated by PCRM if I am selected as an instructor?
A: No. Instructors operate as independent program freelancers setting their own class fees and will collect and keep remaining funds after covering costs for class supplies and food unless the venue or a third party (i.e., grocery store) is making a donation for the class.

Q: What is the maximum number of classes I can teach?
A: There is no maximum number of classes you can teach.

Q: Is there a minimum number of classes I need to teach (per month, per year, etc.)?
A: No. However, instructors must teach a minimum of four four-class series per year, as noted in the program agreement, to keep the loaner cooking equipment from the Food for Life sponsors Saladmaster and Vitamix. The loaner equipment program is optional and instructors may choose to use their own cooking equipment to teach the classes.

Q: Are pots, pans, and cooking utensils provided by PCRM, or must we use our own?
A: PCRM’s sponsors, Saladmaster and Vitamix, generously donate equipment needed for the classes. The equipment is the property of PCRM and must be returned should program requirements not be fulfilled by program participants.

Q: How long are the classes I would teach?
A: Classes are structured to be two hours long, once a week, for four to eight weeks. The Employee Wellness, Healthy Basics and Nutrition Essentials classes are one hour. We do allow the option of series “intensives” where all the classes in a series are taught in a day or over a weekend. Different schedules may also be arranged upon approval.

Q: What is the difference between a “class” and a “series”?
A: A class is a single session within a series. Classes are 1-2 hour sessions and a series is 4-9 classes.

Q: Is there a program agreement to sign?
A: Yes. You may read it below:

Q: Where should I teach classes?
A: Classes have been held globally in hospitals, health clinics, faith communities, community centers, grocery stores, private homes, and other appropriate venues. Just about any type of facility that allows hot-plate cooking has probably served as a Food for Life venue.

Q: Who finds the venues to host the classes?
A: Instructors are responsible for finding appropriate venues.

Q: Who publicizes the classes?
A: The instructor works with the venue to publicize the class, if it is public. The instructor will promote the classes via social media; email marketing; and call and sometimes bring postcards, fliers, and posters to relevant establishments to let them know about the classes. Instructors are also provided a template for press releases.

Q: Is there a time commitment on the agreement (one year, two years, etc.)?
A: Either PCRM or the instructor may terminate the agreement with one-day written notice. The agreement represents a time commitment of one year. However, given the costs involved with training, equipping instructors with cookware, etc., we have the expectation that our instructors will make a good faith effort to be actively engaged in promoting PCRM's mission for a period of more than one year.

Q: Is there a minimum age to be an instructor?
A: PCRM's age requirement for instructors is 21 years old.

FAQs: Food for Life Educational Alliance Program Partners

Q: What does my class location need to have in order to conduct a Food for Life class?

  • Screen/Television with DVD and/or internet access
  • Kitchen or a sink nearby (optional)
  • Chairs for attendees
  • Two tables (one should be at least 6' x 3'): one for food prep and one for cooking demonstrations
  • Power outlets, easily accessible
  • Permission to use gas or electric burners
  • Trash can
  • You must also handle preregistration for the event and let us know the total number of attendees you’ll be teaching. (Note: The recommended maximum number of attendees per class is 30.)
  • Someone to help with setting up your class area furniture (chairs, table, etc., as needed)

Q: What items will our instructor need to have in order to conduct a Food for Life class?

  • Food or reimbursement for food (about $3 per attendee)
  • Paper plates, bowls, napkins, utensils (often donated by sponsor grocery stores)
  • Extension cord and/or power strip
  • Pots, pans, bowls, utensils, and other cooking equipment
  • Aprons, potholders, dishtowels
  • Two gas, electric, or induction burners
  • Oven/toaster oven
  • Microphone (optional, depending on size of room and audience)

Q: What is the difference between an Educational Alliance Program (EAP) partner and a Food for Life instructor?
A: An EAP partner is a company, nonprofit, or other type of institution that offers the Food for Life program solely at its facility. Upon completion of the training, the EAP partner may hire and train a facilitator of its choosing to present the Food for Life classes at its facility. A Food for Life instructor is an individual who teaches classes at various locations throughout his or her community. The instructor is not authorized to train others to present the Food for Life classes.