• What is Feed the Mass?

Feed the Mass is a nonprofit organization (501c3), whose goal is to educate people about nutrition, cooking and healthy lifestyles. We are the only nonprofit cooking school in Portland, Oregon.


  • Why was Feed the Mass created?

Health, Education and Community are our three focuses:

  1. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, and many forms of heart disease can be prevented or treated with healthy lifestyle choices. 66% of people do not cook the food they eat. Their meal either comes from a restaurant, a vending machine, or a convenience store. Most of these meals have one thing in common: they are unhealthy. They’re loaded with preservatives, “bad” fats, salt, and/or sugar. At Feed the Mass, our classes focus on using real ingredients and making everything from scratch. This means you know everything that goes into your dish, and that ensures the best quality and nutrition for you and your family.

  2. Home economics education is disappearing at an alarming rate. Many schools are removing home economics classes from their curriculums due to budget constraints, and the schools that are still offering home economics classes do not make it mandatory for students. At Feed the Mass, we offer budget-friendly classes focused on healthy, nutritious cooking to help individuals lead a healthy, balanced life.

  3. Portland’s population is booming and it’s lacking a sense of community. Nearly 200 people move to Portland every day and it takes time to build and integrate a new community. At Feed the Mass, we open our arms to welcome anyone willing to cook, eat, converse, and learn together.


  • Feed the Mass by the numbers in 2018: (excluding December 2018)

  1. Feed the Mass taught 139 classes, this is an average of 14 classes per month.

  2. 114 adult classes and 37 Little Chefs (children) classes were taught. Little chefs classes represent ¼ of all the classes taught.

  3. Feed the Mass has taught 1,149 students

    • This is an average of 104 students per month

    • 872 were adults and 277 were children under 13.

  4. Our students’ favorite classes to date have been Indian cooking, ramen, dim sum and dessert class.


  • Is Feed the Mass providing food to people?

Part of Feed the Mass’ program is offering free cooking classes to the those who cannot afford them. During these free classes, the ingredients to cook the meal are provided and students get to eat what they cooked at the end of the class. However, with the exception of our annual Thanksgiving turkey sandwich giveaway, Feed the Mass does not cook, gather or distribute food to people in need.


  • How do you identify those in need to offer free classes? Have you partnered with other organizations in Portland?

We are working with nonprofits such as Friendly House and the Department of Human Services to identify underserved individuals. We also recently posted a scholarship form on our website so that these individuals can easily register for discounted classes.


  • What is the origin of the name ‘Feed the Mass’?

When the founder Jacobsen Valentine started this organization and was thinking about a name, he remembered the story of Jesus and the miracle of feeding the masses with five fish and two loaves of bread. The moral of the story was that if people just shared what they had, it would always be enough. That’s where the name Feed the Mass comes from.


  • Is Feed the Mass a Catholic or religious organization?

Although the name Feed the Mass, comes from a Catholic reference, the organization is not religious in any way. We value diversity and welcome people from all religions and ethnic backgrounds.


  • Which companies have hired you in the past for private events?

Portland-based companies and other organizations often hire us to teach a cooking class or cooking class series for their staff. In 2018, we worked with Portland Public Schools, Junior League, Nike, Intel, Columbia and Unitus Credit Union, just to name a few.


  • Being based in the wealthy area of the Pearl District, how do you reach underserved communities?

Feed the Mass has been offering cooking classes out of Whole Foods’ community kitchen since the summer of 2018. Whole Foods extended a helping hand to our organization when we lost the lease to our previous location--they were kind enough to offer their kitchen to us at no charge. To help us reach a larger, more diverse population, starting in 2019, Feed the Mass will be offering classes three days a week at Cookshop in Southeast Portland.


  • What have participants said about how Feed the Mass classes have improved their dietary habits?

One of the goals of our classes is to show people how easy and fun it can be to cook so that they cook more often, more nutritionally and with friends and family. One third of our students are returning students, and we believe the reasons why are that we make cooking seem fun--less of a chore--and we help bring people together. Many students bring family members or their significant other.

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