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 and in Cooking Matters classes around the Bay Area.

As a volunteer, you are an important link to our guests’ satisfaction and to 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 proves to be a valuable experience and 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. However, we have recently received a lot of applications, and have temporarily suspended accepting new applications as of September 12, 2017. We will repost a link to the application here when we can reopen it. Thank you for understanding.

To let you know what would happen after we receive, review, and approve of your application:

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 4-6 hour shifts.

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 vulnerable 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; this team is led by 18 Reasons staff. 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 commit to a six-week series of classes.

Classes are held anytime between 9am and 8pm, Monday through Friday.
 Each class requires a time commitment of two hours plus half an hour of prep-time and 15 minutes of cleaning, as well as communicating with the 18 Reasons class 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 on Facebook at 18 Reasons Volunteers. 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!