Volunteer Spotlight: Julia Grover

For Julia, The Kitchen is the place where her knowledge of nutrition, her love of cooking and her desire to give back meet. Julia is a registered dietitian but stopped practicing several years ago to raise her children. Still, she wanted to be able to use her knowledge to serve her community.

She’s doing just that as a Nutrition Ambassador at Second Harvest. Julia brings not only her nutrition knowledge and cooking skills but also her big heart to her work with the Nutrition Education team. “It’s a way for me to connect with people who might want nutrition guidance but don’t have access to it easily,” she said.

From her professional experience, Julia knows just how important cooking skills are to people’s health. “The Kitchen is an awesome program because it teaches people that use the food from the food bank nutritious and creative ways to use that food,” she said. “To me, it’s all about prevention. Learning how to cook healthy food helps your health in general and is a huge component to preventing major illnesses.”

Julia gets just as much from the classes as she gives. “I love to cook so much, and I love to be creative with nutrition, but I don’t have people to cook for on a regular basis, so it’s an outlet. I have so much fun cooking, and it’s wonderful to do something that’s fun and helpful at the same time.”

Although Julia is excited to be using her love of cooking to build a healthier community, she knows that The Kitchen is about more than just food. “One of the things that I’ve loved is eating family-style at the end of the cooking class. It's a way to provide people with some dignity around the fact that they deserve to have a nice meal,” said Julia. “The Kitchen is a very dignified environment. To be able to sit down around the table all together at the end, around a common meal, brings a common thread and connects us as a community—no matter what our income or educational background is.”

Thank you, Julia, for bringing your knowledge, skills and passion to The Kitchen and your community!