Recipe For Success Foundation

Rating: 4.91 stars   44 reviews

Issues: Education, Food

Location: P.O. Box 56405 Houston TX 77256 USA

Mission: The mission of the Recipe for Success Foundation is to combat childhood obesity and encourage long-term health by altering the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food.  The earlier in life a person’s weight is brought under control, the better chance that person has of minimizing those health risks.  Novel approaches in the prevention and treatment of childhood overweight and obesity are, therefore, urgently required. Children who are overweight at 11 will battle obesity issues for life, so early intervention is mandatory.
Results: Parents are reporting increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and reduced resistance to trying new healthy foods.
Target demographics: Children under 11, their families and communities.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 3200 children
Programs: our signature Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ curriculum. The largest program of its kind, RFS has reached over 20,000 children with an integrated schedule of classes in the garden and kitchen. We have documented: significant improvements in nutrition knowledge, increases in consumption of fruits and vegetables, and a greater willingness to try new fruits and vegetables. In 2010, RFS was asked by the current administration to bring our programs to national scale prompting the development of Affiliate Partnerships which launched in 2012. Our kid's cookbook, Eat It! Food Adventures was released in 2012 and has since won eleven national publishing awards. We created the VegOut! Challenge to support efforts of families and individuals to eat healthier with our 30 Ways in 30 Days Challenge - a year-round advocacy promo for eating new vegetables which culminates every March. More about our programs:
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 20-3377041
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Recipe for Success began with the mission to eradicate childhood obesity and its attendant health problems. Almost 50% of Texas 4th graders are at-risk or overweight— especially African-American females and Mexican-American males. Gracie Cavnar, in an amazing example of “mission to action,” spent ten years researching the problem and developing best practices. She then took personal responsibility for staving off this epidemic by starting a foundation with her own funds. With great tenacity and drawing upon her vast reservoir of community contacts, she built an impressive base of support and, in record time, she and her team implemented a pilot program serving five Houston Independent School District schools in at-risk communities. The program proved to be such a success, that it is now being considered for further expansion in Houston and even nationally.

Serving elementary-aged students via a classroom cooking project, it is a unique, fun, and effective way to teach children the facts about food and nutrition by learning how to cook their own meals from seasoned, professional chefs. Proven teaching methods are incorporated which involve math, science, social studies and reading, in addition to the cooking of meals. Gracie recruited and enlisted the help of many of Houston’s premier chefs — everyone from Robert del Grande and Randy Evans to Monica Pope is involved — and to see these chefs “teaching by doing,” interacting with a class of eager and excited fourth graders, is one of the most inspirational sights.

In addition to Houston’s top chefs, Recipe for Success also has various medical professionals, City and County commissions, an impressive band of volunteers, and various corporate sponsors behind it. All of this has been accomplished in record time thanks to the steadfast resolve of its “birth mother” Gracie Cavnar and her determination to save the health of Houston’s children.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As stated above, I have volunteered in the classrooms where chefs have been teaching excited 4th graders about food and assisted in planting of vegetable gardens on site at the elementary schools involved where students learn about their food - from seed to plate.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...


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