What is the Master Food Preserver program?
The WSU Master Food Preserver (MFP) program is a volunteer outreach program designed to bring research-based information to the public. This program began in Washington State in 1976, as a pilot project in King and Yakima counties. For the first time ever, a group of volunteers were trained to assist the county Extension faculty in providing up-to-date information on food safety and preservation to the general public. The program was so successful that it is still in operation today and has been adopted by many other states.
What do MFP’s do?
At Washington State University the volunteers are considered a vital part of the delivery structure of WSU Extension outreach and education programs. Volunteers serve in partnership with the local Extension office, functioning as an unpaid employee of Washington State University.
Specifically, the Master Food Preserver volunteers:
- Assist county and state Extension faculty by responding to food safety/preservation inquiries. There has been an increased interest in food safety/preservation in the past few years, and the extra help is critical to our success.
- Staff information booths and present demonstrations at local Farmer’s Markets, Benton-Franklin County Fair, CSA’s, local festivals and/or produce stands.
- Teach classes or mentor new canners to help assure safety of foods processed at home.
- Utilize personal connections and social media to provide information on safe food handling and preservation.
- Partner with community groups, agencies, and organizations to promote safe food handling practices.