In an age of convenience foods, lots of people don’t know what to do with ingredients or how to make a meal out of a sack of groceries. The cooking classes offered by the Area Interfaith Outreach Food Pantry in Rockland are taking steps to change that. And they are free.

The AIO classes have been offered twice before and have been great fun. No cooking experience is necessary. Absolute beginners are more than welcome. Held Mondays, Sept. 13, Sept. 20, Sept. 27 and Oct. 4, these how-to-cook lessons are offered to anyone in Knox County who wants to learn basic home cooking. With the slogan “Anybody Can Cook” and the promise to teach everyone how to eat better for less, this series builds confidence. Classes are from 9:30 a.m. to about 12:30 p.m., allowing participants time to eat what they make.

Classes are hands-on, with participants peeling, chopping and mixing. Each Monday they make five or six recipes, including soups, salads, casseroles, yeast bread, roasts, chops and desserts, the basics of delicious home cooking. Instructors will share favorite recipes, preparation tips and smart shopping, and explore how to get the most mileage out of the food that is purchased. It’s best to come to all four classes, but if you can come only once, definitely come.

Classes are held at Nativity Lutheran Church on Old County Road. To sign up, call Sherry Cobb at 785-2086. It’s free, but organizers need to know how many to expect.