The Food, Nutrition, and Basic Skills program plans to offer free, hands-on cooking classes to students starting Winter Quarter 2019.

These classes will be led by student interns in the Food, Nutrition, and Basic Skills (FNBS) program, who have each picked a theme for the meal, according to program director Jacqueline Ovalle.

Although the schedule is not yet final, Ovalle revealed two of them as “Breakfast Brr-itos” and “How to Tofu.”

“At each hands-on cooking class, it’s exactly the way it sounds,” Ovalle said. “We will have a cap of about 15 students, and they will come and learn how to make a dish from start to finish.”

She said students will get to eat whatever food they cook and take it home.

The first class is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 15.

FNBS is a program focused on educating students about food preparation, grocery shopping and budgeting in an effort to reduce food insecurity on campus, Ovalle said.

The program has a range of partners from across campus and in Isla Vista, including UCen Dining, Residential Dining, the I.V. Food Co-op, the Transfer Student Center and Associated Students Food Bank.

“We love working with our campus and community partners because they all bring their unique ideas, strengths and expertise to the table,” she said in an email.

In Fall Quarter 2018, over 530 students attended FNBS events, Ovalle said.

“Every quarter we put on approximately two workshops per week,” Ovalle said. “[These workshops] help improve food security on campus through education but more specifically through helping promote healthy food, easy access, educational content to increase food security and teaching skills.”

In addition to the new hands-on cooking classes, FNBS will continue to offer a variety of nutrition and wellness-related programs, including garden and grocery tours as well as cooking demonstrations.

Garden tours teach students how to plant seeds to grow their own vegetables and herbs. Similarly, FNBS hosts tours of the I.V. Food Co-op, in which students learn about unit pricing, using coupons and shopping in bulk.

Approximately 48 percent of the university’s undergraduate students experience some degree of food insecurity, according to a University of California Global Food Initiative report from Dec. 2017.

“Cooking doesn’t need to be expensive, and it doesn’t need to be complex,” Ovalle said. “Cooking can save you tons of money, it can be a whole lot healthier and it can be a lot of fun.”

Student can sign up for workshops here. Sign-ups for Winter Quarter 2018 are not available as of Dec. 9.


Amira Garewal
Amira Garewal is a staff writer for the Daily Nexus. She can be reached at