18 Reasons depends on an active and vibrant team of volunteers to carry out our mission: empowering our community with the confidence and creativity to buy, cook and eat good food every day. Volunteers assist with all of our public events, both in our 18th St Classroom in the Mission District in SF and in Cooking Matters classes around the Bay Area.

As a volunteer, you are an essential part of our guests’ satisfaction and our organization’s success. Therefore, we strive to make your experience satisfying. We encourage you to have fun, to learn, and to share what you glean with others. We hope that your service will be a valuable experience that contributes to your life as an engaged member of our community.



18th St Classroom Crew

If you are interested in volunteering for the public classes and events on our 18th St Classroom in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, we ask that you fill out an application. We have suspended the application process as of January 23, 2018, due to the large number of applicants. We will repost the link to the application when there is space available. In the meantime, please consider volunteering for our program, Cooking Matters, which takes on volunteers on a rolling basis.

To let you know what would happen after we receive, review, and approve of your application to join the 18th St. Crew:

New crew members are required to attend the 2-hour orientation. After the orientation, you will be able to sign up for volunteer shifts right away.

Due to the schedule of our public classes and events, we prioritize training volunteers who are available on weeknights and Sunday evenings for 6 hour shifts, such as 5-11 pm.

18th St Crew members set up the classroom and kitchen, serve guests, assist chefs and instructors, and clean up. Volunteering has many perks, including free access to classes and events, free food, gift cards, and invitations to special gatherings.

Have additional questions? Please email volunteering@18reasons.org.


18 Reasons shares our culinary skills and creativity with local communities through Cooking Matters, a program offering free, six-week cooking and nutrition classes throughout the Bay Area.

Each Cooking Matters class is taught by a volunteer chef, nutritionist, and class assistant, and this stellar instruction team is led by an 18 Reasons staff member. You don’t have to be a professional chef or nutritionist to volunteer – if you are passionate about healthy food and eager to engage others, we welcome you as a volunteer. Cooking Matters volunteers are required to commit to a six-week series of classes.

Classes are held anytime between 9am and 8pm, Tuesday through Friday.
 Each class requires a time commitment of two hours plus half an hour of prep-time and about 20 minutes of clean-up, as well as communicating with the 18 Reasons staff coordinator between classes. 
Volunteers contribute to all aspects of the class, including set-up, clean-up and food preparation.

The five steps to becoming a volunteer for Cooking Matters can be found here.



Join your fellow volunteers in our 18 Reasons Volunteers Facebook group (link here). After your group membership is approved by staff, you can get to know your fellow volunteers and learn from one another.

We send a quarterly email newsletter to current volunteers with recipes and information from staff and our community partners. We also will invite you to socials and gatherings throughout the year. Thank you for your service to our organization and community!