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September 27, 2011

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September 27, 2011

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.

The Great!

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.

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Assist our culinary teachers to deliver a cooking class, help maintain gardens, participate in gardening classes with the kids, participate in community outreach programs, assist in the office with projects like photo cataloging, website maintenance, fulfilling internet order of our materials, assist in scheduling volunteers and chefs, help with field trips, shop for class supplies, deliver class supplies, help with special events and many many other activities. Volunteer