Local Group Combines Cooking Lessons and Community Service (Video)

Two years ago they didn’t know each other, but now, thanks to MeetUp.com, the group “MoCo Cooking for Good” is getting together to “cook for good,” donating their food to the men’s shelter in Rockville and learning some new skills along the way.

The group, which has a roster of more than 140 people from across the State, combines cooking lessons with charity by including tips from local chefs while cooking a meal for those who need it most.

“Someone said something about meetup and I was like ‘ew that’s for dating no way,’ and then I did actually go on Meet Up and I found that you could actually find some volunteer opportunities,” said Lillian White, an organizer with MoCo Cooking for Good. “So I latched onto this and it was immediately a really good fit.”

Chef David “Curley” Cornblatt, owner of Curley’s Q Food Truck teaches at a "MoCo Cooking for Good" meeting.

Chef David “Curley” Cornblatt, owner of Curley’s Q Food Truck teaches at a “MoCo Cooking for Good” meeting.

MoCo Cooking for Good is open to people of all ages and skill levels, from professional chefs to those with no cooking experience or skills.

They used to take turns hosting their cooking sessions at member’s houses, but now, thanks to a local food truck owner who donates his cooking lessons and kitched space in Rockville, they have the tools they need to give back.

“Letting people use the kitchen and help out can be fun and also can benefit someone else,” said David “Curley” Cornblatt, owner of Curley’s Q Food Truck. “There’s times that we can all use a helping hand and it’s really nothing more than that. You know just a nice thing to do and it would be nice if more people did it. It would make the world a much better place.”

And for those not from the area, it’s an easy way to learn and meet others.

Members of "MoCo Cooking for Good" prepare a meal for  a local homeless shelter.

Members of “MoCo Cooking for Good” prepare a meal for a local homeless shelter.

“I’m Dutch and I moved here two years ago and I really liked cooking but I also wanted to get to know other people because I knew nobody here so that’s why I looked for cooking groups and I thought it was a great way of meeting other people,” said Harma Maffert, an organizer with MoCo Cooking for Good. “I saw that there was one that also combined that with volunteering for a shelter so that was a very good idea.”

“We really have a good time, people just get to know each other and we’re cooking and it’s all for a really good cause so it’s a really good feeling,” said Nina Habibi an organizer with MoCo Cooking for Good. “Jenna Umbriac of Mana Food Center, a food bank in Montgomery county, hopes to use our group as a model for other community kitchens that prepare food for shelters in the county.”

For more information about the group and how to join, visit their MeetUp page here.

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Valerie Bonk

About Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media (MCM).

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