Skip to content

Alameda County offers healthy food preparation classes and food handling certification

on November 14, 2017

Nutrition assistants from Alameda County provide free six-week cooking courses for Oakland residents to promote having a nutritious diet and community health. The classes, called Cooking for Health Academy, focus on teaching people about dietary needs and reading nutrition labels, as well as gaining skills in the kitchen.

According to nutrition assistant Joseph Whittaker II, who teaches the class at the Defremery Recreation Center, the classes have been running for about eight years. He, along with other county workers, first developed the program after realizing many of the people who benefited from food banks did not know how to healthfully prepare the food provided. “We said, ‘We need to have cooking classes to show them how to read nutrition labels, how to identify healthy fats and non-meat protein sources, and be able to actually cook the food the food bank is supplying them with,'” he said.

Participants who complete the program are qualified to test for a food handler certification. Those who pass will become eligible for jobs such as food services at Oakland public schools or in-house shoppers for Safeway’s online shopping. “We believe that education should be directly reflected in your paycheck,” said Whittaker.

Cooking for Health Academy runs several times a year at locations in Oakland, Hayward and San Leandro. Additional information about the program and other Alameda County nutrition services can be found here


  1. […] Read the rest of the story and watch the video by Anne Wernikoff at Oakland North. […]

  2. […] Read the rest of the story and watch the video by Anne Wernikoff at Oakland North. […]

  3. ssc jobs on January 17, 2018 at 2:41 am

    i think now a days it is important to not how to healthy food preparation process is done and you are providing us classes and food handling certification ….. thanks….

Oakland North welcomes comments from our readers, but we ask users to keep all discussion civil and on-topic. Comments post automatically without review from our staff, but we reserve the right to delete material that is libelous, a personal attack, or spam. We request that commenters consistently use the same login name. Comments from the same user posted under multiple aliases may be deleted. Oakland North assumes no liability for comments posted to the site and no endorsement is implied; commenters are solely responsible for their own content.

Photo by Basil D Soufi
Oakland North

Oakland North is an online news service produced by students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and covering Oakland, California. Our goals are to improve local coverage, innovate with digital media, and listen to you–about the issues that concern you and the reporting you’d like to see in your community. Please send news tips to:

Latest Posts

Scroll To Top