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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Recipe For Success Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Food, Nutrition, Primary & Elementary Schools

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.

Results: We are recording a 30% increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and parents are reporting a 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 30,000 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: recipe4success.org

Community Stories

77 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Recipe For Success Foundation has fundamentally changed the way children approach healthy eating. I've seen their work in the classroom, and how the kids respond to their programming. Second graders who don't know what Broccoli is going into the school year come out being able to make all sorts of healthy dishes with vegetables they grew themselves. It's integral to our functionality as a country to have the young interested in where our food comes from, and the importance of making healthy choices.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have served on several boards, and have never seen a nonprofit with this kind of vigor and energy. It is very inspiring to see R$S's level of community engagement and its effect on kids' lives.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering in schools with this organization almost from the beginning (and recently joined the board). Time and again, I have seen with my own eyes how third- and fourth graders are transformed by the experience of being taught about healthy foods. They become accustomed to eating more fruits and vegetables, and they acquire the knowledge to help them make healthier food choices for life.

Donor

Rating: 5

R4S is leading the way in combating childhood obesity by changing the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food and by helping the community provide healthier diets for our kids.

Involving schools with Programs like Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™and Other initiatives, like the VegOut! Challenge, Farmers MarKIDS, Hope Farms and Eat It! Food Adventures, promote a culture where nutritious food is shared, appreciated and celebrated in Houston and nationwide.

Sounds like a Recipe for Success!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My volunteer experience with Hope Farms, the food production arm of Recipe 4 Success, has so far exceeded my expectations due to the wonderful folks such as Gracie, Justin and the wonderful staff and volunteers. They create a welcoming environment of creativity and passion for the role of healthy food choices in an environment of rampant obesity.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I can think of few nonprofit organizations that I have hands-on experience that are as impactful and as dynamic as RFS! From its work with students in low income schools to growing organic vegetables at Hope Farm to its high profile fundraisers across the city, RFS moves at a dizzying pace! Led by Gracie Cavnar, the RFS team is incredibly busy helping spread the gospel of healthy eating and advocating healthy living.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Excellent model and implementation. This nonprofit has done a wonderful job in the Sunnyside area.

Board Member

Rating: 5

RFS is truly making a difference in Houston and the United Sates with their amazing seed to plate educational programs and now with Hope Farms, they will directly impact those who live in areas where access to fresh fruits and vegetables are limited. Their hard-working team is truly dedicated to the cause, and I know that any money I donate is leveraged and used to the upmost, and my volunteer time is always well-spent and fulfilling.

Gracie C.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Recipe for Success team is mission motivated and it permeates their work, maximizing philanthropic investment to achieve maximum impact. Every day they move the needle: changing the way kids understand and eat their food, training veterans to be farmers, growing affordable produce in an urban food desert, and making healthy eating deliciously fun for everyone. They win hearts and minds, inspiring us all to make healthier eating decisions and empowering us to back them up with lifeskill like cooking and gardening.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success is helping Houston fight childhood obesity. Their programs not only reiterate important messages regarding healthy food selection, but they also teach children to be interested in where, how and when their food gets to them. Understanding the story of how food arrives seed-to-plate cultivates an appreciation and constant craving for what is fresh and good. When kids make better food choices, their families do too.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Through hands-on experiential education in the garden and culinary classrooms, students create a deep relationship with food and begin building the foundation of a lifetime of health. By making healthy food fun, students' are empowered with a knowledge and awareness of where food comes from and the skills to grow and cook their own. Learning, thinking and true human knowledge is ignited outside the bounds of a normal classroom and students' lives are activated by making fresh fruits and vegetables the "normal" in their daily life.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Recipe for Success has been a great program for our students. Introducing them to the entire process of taking seeds al the way to their plates. Students are trying different foods they wouldn't typically taste because they planted the actually seeds.

Former staff

Rating: 5

I absolutely love seeing the children gain new knowledge and skills that will help them make better and healthier choices with food. I love their excitement and energy in trying things out for the first time. but most importantly how they change their minds about a certain food and their excitement to share it with their family. Please keep on supporting this Great Non-Profit organization, Recipe for Success is Amazing!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I really enjoy volunteering with RFS. There are so many different volunteer opportunities and you can do a little or a lot. I've especially enjoyed working with the kids in the classroom. You really get to see firsthand the success of RFS mission.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recipe4Success has been tremendous in providing our school all the support we need to maneuver through the program.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a volunteer with Recipe for Success Foundation. The staff is well organized and keeps in constant contact with volunteers regarding ongoing opportunities. A beautiful monthly e-magazine is sent that keeps volunteers and other stakeholders abreast of the goings on within the organization. Recipe for Success Foundation is a place where you can really see the impact that the program has on the children. Things are only getting more exciting as Hope Farms is getting closer to fruition!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success provides many resources for teachers and students to learn about healthy foods and gardening.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success is an amazing program for our students! They help teach our students all about healthy food choices, cooking, gardening. Our students get little to no exposure when it comes to choosing healthy foods, gardening, and cooking, and they absolutely love getting to participate in RFS. This program is helping change our students mind set about eating natural foods, and continue to bring necessary awareness to our parents.

1 dkba

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Recipe for success does a wonderful job teaching and exposing children to healthy and delicious foods. By growing gardens and then using some of that food in recipes, they spark children's interest and help them develop a desire to eat healthier foods.

Previous Stories
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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success helps children learn, in a hands on way, about plants, gardening, nutrition, and geography. Volunteering has allowed me to see first hand the positive impact this has with elementary kids. I get to volunteer with Emily Paul. Her enthusiasm and caring way, motivates children to want to learn, try new experiences, and ask questions. It is a terrific program that is worthwhile for a lifetime!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a student at the University of Houston and an intern for Recipe for Success. I absolutely love their foundation and mission. After seeing first hand how their foundation impacts children every single day, I could not be more proud to be apart of an organization that has such a positive influence in children's lives. Not only are children taught about fruits and vegetables, they play an hands-on role in planting, harvesting and making healthy, kid and adult-friendly recipes. The children are always so excited to come to the class and learn about new foods!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the website to orientation to execution the Recipe For Success organization is an asset to the Houston community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Recipe for success serves a vital role in the education of our children. Many of the children have no idea where their food comes from, what a particular vegetable or fruit is called, what nutrition is all about, how to eat a healthy diet, how to grow, harvest and prepare their own food and much more that is gained by exposure to the wonderful teachers trained by Recipe for Success. Teachers are committed to the education process in an ever growing number of schools. They enjoy what they do, and this positive attitude is contageous in the classroom. I can't say enough wonderful things about the organization and the people who make it happen. They are truly giving a gift to the community in all that they do.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Really nice folks. They listen and are as good asking why not rather tham just why.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing program. I look forward to being more involved in 2016.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Love the message for the kids and hope it's making a difference when they go home!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough great things about this organization. Not only do they have a team of incredible individuals but they have done so much good in the community around them. The people who work here truly care for children and their future. Teaching kids how to cook for themselves, know where their food come from and lead healthier lives. This foundation is also involved in changing public policy to encourage a healthier environment for children to grow up in. I only interned here for a short time but I was truly sad to leave when my rotation was complete.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This is amazing non profit that fights childhood obesity and is winning. Starting in Houston it has now gone national with all its programs. The new program, Hope farms not only helps bring fresh vegetables to food deserts but teaches veterans how to farm.

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization does great work to fight childhood obesity and educate children about healthy eating. It has detailed tools to help teachers fit the organization's materials into their teaching curriculum.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success engages kids in the whole life-cycle of food and gets them EXCITED about fruits and veggies. It's amazing!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success Foundation is a wonderful organization that aims to connect students in elementary and middle school with the cycle of food from Seed to Plate. Not only do students get to work outside in the garden, but they take their fresh produce and create a recipe of their teacher's choosing. Garden pesto pizzas, homemade hummus, and pasta from scratch -the kids love it! Their staff works hard to ensure teachers and partners have all the resources they need. From newsletters to common-core aligned lessons and training calls, the team ensures all partners are well connected.

Overall, had a great experience!

Advisor

Rating: 5

I can not say enough wonderful things. The team works so hard to live the mission- and to see the kids gardening and understanding and appreciating food is a joy. RFS is truly working to make a difference in the way children understand and appreciate food and it doesn't stop there! They're growing nationally with the awesome VegOut! Initiative- encouraging participants to eat 30 different vegetables in 30 days. Hope Farms- an awesome urban farming project in Houston. And they continue to develop their seed to plate curriculum to offer the most up to date lesson plans for children. Even if I didn't work here, I would volunteer here!

Gabie C.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great organization! I love what they're doing to change the way kids eat and think about food. I enjoyed my time working with such a talented, smart, fun group. I'm excited to see the new Veg!Out app is up and running. I've been using it myself and am having so much fun tracking my veggies! If you're looking to be a part of a charity organization and making a difference by either volunteering, donating, advising, partnering, etc. then please give Recipe for Success a call.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success is changing the way kids eat and view fruits and veggies. I met with the children in the garden and saw how excited they were to talk about the vegetables they've grown and harvested on their own. It is so nice to see and hear how they talk about a radish or a big green mustard green leaf. The work Recipe for Success is doing is making a different on our community and changing the way these kids will think about food for the rest of their lives.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been involved with RFS for the past three years. My Store Managers have been involved with the children with their projects at school and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. When the children and their parents come into the Store they can identify with the Store Manager and tell their parents about the Managers involvement at school. PRICELESS!!! Thank You RFS for teaching our children.
PMC

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of interning with RFS, and to say it was a wonderful experience would be an understatement! I was able to visit several schools and assist with the gardening, nutrition, and cooking classes. One of the highlights was seeing the kids faces after they tried a new vegetable freshly picked from their garden. They even had fun with the kale. (Apparently it turns your tongue green when you eat it!) Many children said they have encouraged their families to buy the produce at the grocery store after they tried it in an RFS class. This shows how pivotal this program truly is. RFS is not only reaching countless children, but also their families; therefore, it is supporting a healthier community.

Sandrashafer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined RFS a few years back with the interest of donating my time to charity where my chef's expertise will be an added asset for the group. Little did I know that the winner was going to be me and my family. Working with the students at the different schools has brought so much joy to our life, we also have enjoyed working with the teachers and other volunteers, to the extend that they are part of our life today. The concept is brilliant, we touch children's every day of every school year in all participating schools, the teachers and volunteers have this amazing gift to share their time with students while teaching healthy eating habits and living it themselves, as most of them are true lovers of real food. I thank my Texas lucky stars every day for my friends at RFS!!!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Chef volunteer, RFS has been the vehicle to stay connected with children and families that need support and education regarding Healthy life changes.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success is such an awesome thing to have in and around Houston, and I just found out that they've gone national?! My nieces and nephews are a part of HISD, and they have told me so much about this organization and all the good that they bring to these children. I'm so happy that we can embrace a healthier lifestyle together as a family.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The most compelling experience is to see the light go on in a child's eye's when she discovers that she really loves the flavor of a new food, or has managed to create a taste combination that excites her, or shares her excitement over newly harvested kale or peas. To see the progress after an academic year: children gobbling up plates of vegetables that they warily avoided just months before; competing with each other for who can make the best dish to win their Iron Chef Challenge; seriously describing the importance of flavor combinations, a dishes' visual appeal and how to waft in the aroma of an herb to visitors; and excitedly sharing their discoveries with parents and grandparents. That's when you know that working with Recipe for Success Foundation, you are really helping to change lives.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success is a dynamic leader among organizations determined to combat childhood obesity. RFS is unique in its approach to educating children and the community alike. They promote healthy eating, but make it fun! Children are engaged in hands on gardening and cooking classes, to grow fruits and veggies then prepare meals from their harvests. The community at large is challenged to fill their plate with veggies during the month of March by participating in the 30 Ways in 30 Days VegOut Challenge. Recipe for Success is without a doubt making a profound difference in the lives of everyone who participates in their programs.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As soon as I started volunteering in Recipe for Success' Seed-to-Plate classrooms, I knew this was a different kind of program. Kids know what things like bok choy, mustard greens and umami are. They gobble up salad and slurp down gazpacho - cold soup of raw vegetables! - and beg for seconds and thirds. In the garden, they raise hands high to be the one to hold the watering can or harvest a batch of sweet potatoes or kale. They nibble on snap peas and broccoli flowers, freshly picked from their school garden. I would have LOVED to have a program like this as a child - I hope Recipe for Success continues to grow across Houston and beyond.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I have been a volunteer with RFS for close to 1 year, after leaving a program that I had worked closely with that was very similar to RFS. I was thrilled to find RFS and become one of many who truly believe in what they are offering to our young students. I have worked with 2 faciliators and both have demonstrated their passion for nutritional eating and gardening. The students are always excited to participate and I'm always amazed at what they see when exploring their gardens. I'm enjoying learning alongside them as well as I'm not a gardener.

I'm looking forward to continuing and furthering my knowledge in both aspects, garden and nutrition.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Since Recipe For Success Foundation was founded I have been an advocate of its mission and how the organization has expanded its reach not only throughout the greater Houston area, and but throughout the state and beyond carrying it's mission to combat childhood obesity and encouraging long-term health. Recipe For Success helps children understand nutrition, appreciate a healthy lifestyle, and eat nutritious food. RSF is succeeding and fulfilling its mission by educating and mobilizing the entire city to provide a healthier lifestyle for children and the surrounding community .

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One of my favorite memories is watching the kids sell their produce at their farmers marKIDS stand and getting so excited. We asked one student what his favorite vegetable was, and he responded looking at his pricing chart, "I like swiss chard, but mustard greens are very good -- they add a little peppery spice and are really good in spaghetti."

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success Foundation is addressing the huge issue of health and obesity in our nation with a fun and effective preventative solution. After only 7 years, 20,000 children have been reached and it is now expanding nationally-- I think the scope and rapid growth of this organization speaks for itself

Board Member

Rating: 5

As board member, I am honored to be a part of this worthwhile cause. Gracie Cavnar and her team works tirelessly to promote ways to combat childhood obesity by teaching children (and their parents) healthy eating options. My job as a board member is to ensure the organization has the right mechanisms to achieve those goals. If you feel strongly about helping children or promoting a healthy lifestyle, please check out recipe4success.org and get involved.

Review from Guidestar

helen.k.bow

Board Member

Rating: 5

Wells Fargo enjoys a great relationship with Gracie and RFS and when we heard about the plans for Hope Farms, we knew that we wanted to play a significant role in helping to solve the issue of food accessibility. I'm also a proud board member of RFS and support and believe in its mission.

Gracie Cavnar is a dynamo and we have confidence that Hope Farms will not only provide healthy food to Houston families but also educate people—and this is something that Recipe for Success Foundation has proven to do so well over the years.

We’re also excited about the idea of Hope Farms creating jobs, particularly for veterans, as this is a segment of the population that we’re trying to support.

Congratulations and thank you to Recipe for Success Foundation for all that you do to help our communities and area families thrive.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our students, staff, and parents absolutely LOVE Recipe for Success! We have worked with the program for 2 years, and we see a tremendous improvement in the attitudes of our students as it relates to nurtition. They are making healthier choices, and parents have reported that their children are coming home asking for healthy meal options based on what they are learning. This program is an invaluable asset to our campus, and we are thankful for their partnership.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Absolutely love Recipe for Success and the Seed to Plate program they offer at one of our elementary schools. Fantastic teachers who are great with the kids. Love the iron chef competition at the end of the year! So much fun!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I really enjoyed the VegOut! Challenge. I am eating more veggies now and I also lost 4 lbs during the month! I will be eating more veggies from now on.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success is an awesome program! This is the 2nd year that they've partnered with Park Place Elementary. All of our students from PK-5th grade enjoy cooking and gardening. The staff are amazing! We love Recipe for Success!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success provides an all-inclusive type of program for students, staff, parents, and the community. Students at Briscoe Elementary are provided opportunities to learn about healthy eating and healthy living by participating in gardening and cooking classes. After-school activities also include cooking classes and a new Food Adventure class that helps students understand the connection of how food is grown, where it comes from, and how it gets to the table. Gardening Days and RFS Fun Fridays, which promote families and community members coming together to first make a healthy snack and then exercise together in ZUMBA class, make the program accessible and available to all stakeholders in our area. The activities have raised our level of conscientiousness regarding the health and well-being of our students and have helped the school llook for and make better choices when planning events for the students. This has transcended into other collaborations such as the one we have with Houston Parks and Recreation and CAN DO Houston for a bus program that takes students from our school to the park three afternoons a week for exercise and physical activity. We are extremely grateful to have RFS programs serving and positively impacting our entire community!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Seed to Plate cooking and gardening class that Recipe for Success brings to our campus is certainly one of the favorite classes for our After School students at Shadow Oaks Elementary. Our 2nd through 5th grades tudents love learning to cook new recipes that are nutritious. Many of the students have never had the oportunity to work in a garden before or to watch the seeds that they plant grow further than just a seedling or sprout in a tiny plastic pot. It is rewarding to see students learn to have a more adventuous palate as they try out foods that they would not normally eat.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our school has partnered with RFS for several years and we believe that they have made a tremendous impact in the lives of the students at our school. Our students are excercising and eating healthy everyday and has help made Briscoe an Exemplary school for the last few years! Our school could not afford this program and create these opportunities for all our students.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recipe For Success provide an excellent program for our students at Matthys Elementary School! They do a great job with introducing students to healthy fruits and vegetables. They provide hands on learning with cooking and gardening. The cooking activity allow students to use their 5 senses for great recipes. Not only do they have fun learning new recipes, they also teach our students new vocabulary and concepts they wouldn't normally get in classroom setting. Matthys has a great instructor and she works well with the students! I am looking forward to the parent program that will be offered in the spring.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Rodriguez Elementary loves R4Success! Their "seed to plate" curriculum has truly enriched our school curriculum. Our students have learned to appreciate the art of gardening, cooking and eating. Our staff and parents have also learned about making healthy choices at home. We are proud and honored to have such wonderful partners who share our commitment to building healthy children through a "hands on" approach.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are an Title One elementary school in Houston Texas. Using Recipe For Success our students have learned alot about nutrition and taught it to their parents. Our students have learned alot about the agriculture and plants. They have a great time learning and the teachers enjoy it as well.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I absolutley love Recipe For Success for our students! They do a phenomenal job of introducing our students at Whittier Elementary to healthy fruits and vegetables. Not only do they have fun learning with their recipes, they also teach our students new vocabulary and concepts they wouldn't normally get in classroom setting. This is a great organization!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success = healthier food preparation for Girl Scouts! The Recipe for Success staff creatively bring home the important message of healthy eating, in a fun and experiential manner through girls completing requirements for the GSUSA Legacy Cook badge for the different program levels. As holidays approach, the staff enhances the badge classes with holiday themes.
Girls experience hands on the role they can repeat back with their families to eat healthy.
The RfS chefs are excellent role models for the girls, sharing important information professionally to allow the girls to truly be more in charge of their own destiny. In addition, chefs offer girls a wonderful example of an exciting and open ended career.
The inclusion of limited adults helps to focus on girl interaction and leadership while providing the adults ‘time off’ as assistants to the chefs while observing first-hand the girls’ experience to bring home and share about healthy eating with the girls’ families.
All the best to this creative and educational staff, working one student at a time to a healthier city!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have only recently been exposed to R4S, but have been extremely impressed with their mission and great results! I look forward to becoming more involved with them in the future and can't wait to see what they have in store for our community!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success - what can I say about it. When I first came to Mac Gregor Elementary and heard of this organization, I had no ideal what it was or what to expect. When I began to get familiar with the components, I was still a bit hesitant because as a teacher I thought it would take too much time from instruction. But I was so wrong. Recipe for Success has actually added to the curriculum. The students are able to learn first hand all that goes on before the food is even served on their plates. And needless to say, the healthy choice of cooking will stay with the students for a lifetime. The volunteers and staff are informative, professional and friendly. I am very fortunate to be at a school that offers this wonderful program.

Michael23456789

Board Member

Rating: 5

I recently joined the Board of Recipe for Success. I was introduced to RFS through another charitable organization that I am associated with, that supports small, but growing, local charities focused on helping children. From my first encounter, I knew that RFS had created a unique model that could have a dramatically positive impact on children. Two of my passions are preventative healthcare and education - both of which are the focus of RFS. I believe through my experience that nutrition is the most critical component of holistically focused healthcare, and is often not give appropriate attention. Proper nutrition can dramatically improve lives - not just through the reduction of disease and illness, but also in less obvious ways like producing higher energy levels, greater attention in school and work, etc. Providing children with both the understanding of proper nutrition, and also (critically) the tools to take action to improve their lives through gardening, cooking, and making the right dietary decisions, is what makes RFS such an impactful organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success is an excellent opportunity for a new generation to form new eating habits. The children are still excited after four years of having Recipe for Success on campus. The concept has been steadily growing and improving. The children are always ready to learn to grow and prepare their own food. The nutritional information that they are gathering is life-changing and they don't even realize it. Not only does the program reach into the school and help students, it inadvertently reaches into the homes and informs parents through the children. There are many parents who have joined the Wellness Meetings sponsored by the group. they have also gathered a lot of nutritional information. I believe Receipe for Success is a great method of helping the next generation ward off obesity and its link to medical problems.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recipe for Success is an amazing program full of wonderful teachers and helpers! I am affiiated with them because they serve the school, MacGregor Elementary, which I work at. They have literally waved the magic wand through their work the last few years and changed the culture of our school with respect to healthy living and healthy choices. All children have blossomed with the garden. THey have been exposed to planting, nurturing, cultivating, cooking, and then consuming many healthy things from the garden. In doing so, they also are blessed with lessons in patience, care, hard work, and of course the science, math, and academics in all. When they learn to care for something else, it impacts them for life. We know have kids who prefer green beans to candy . . . and that is amazing!
In the kitchen, it is a whole new world for our kids too! They are exposed to a variety of food - many are like me - I would not have ordered that item off of the menu. But after being exposed to it, I would. So the REcipe for Success Program changes kids for life - producing healthier eaters who are much more aware of the environment. Many of the kids also get the experience of taking produce to market.
The volunteers and teachers all have loads of patience, love, and passion for what they are doing. And this is obvious after one trip to the kitchen or garden. EVERY CHILD gardens, including our 3 and 4 year old students. It is amazing how Recipe for SUccess has transformed our school, from the youngest 3 year old student to our most senior staff. They are supercalifragilisticexpealidocious!

Laura Allen

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After working in after-school programs myself as a bilingual Spanish teacher and feeling dismayed by curriculum limitations, I was seriously impressed by the versatility and dynamic structure of RFS classes. In RFS classes, learning to cook a simple recipe becomes so much more than that by engaging and challenging students to work well in groups, think critically about math and science (fractions, ratios, mixtures, etc), and to explore nutrition in a fun and meaningful way. One of my favorite volunteer moments happened one afternoon while I was cleaning up dishes after class. Our last student of the day had returned to class with his mother because he had forgotten to pick up a copy of the day's recipe. Typically a quieter student, he suddenly burst to life recounting the day's lesson to his mother including details of the ingredients, what purposes they served, and how to replicate the meal with other similar ingredients. Seeing my astonishment, the mother proceeded to tell me that her son, as a result of RFS, had taken to helping her in the kitchen both with meal planning and actually cooking their meals. What once was a simple class time activity was becoming a passion for this child as well as a bonding experience for him and his mother.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Whittier Elementary has started the second year working with Recipe for Success. Our first year it began as a small after school program serving 20 students. The program was such a huge success that we have expanded it to five days a week from 4:00-6:00 serving Kindergarten through Third grade students. It is the most popular club in our after school program. The Chefs are amazing! Not only do they get students involved in cooking they teach them the importance of eating health and making good choice. The cooking classes also maintain two garden beds where they use the herbs that they grow. Our community is 98% with an average of 60% second language learners. I have been so impressed with the English Language development that has occurred through cooking. Our students are engaged, working cooperatively with their classmates, and having a ton of fun. Recipe for Success plays a huge part in the vision of the campus. I am thrilled to work with them.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Recipe for Success is a wonderful organization. I am glad that we are partnering with them to bring a healthier way of thinking about food to our school. Last year we partnered with Recipe for Success to help us build our school/community garden and to implement their "seed to plate" program at our school. The call of teaching our students, staff and parents healthy eating alternatives was answered by the collaboration with Recipe for Success. In a little over a year, students have grown vegetables with their own hands, shared them with families and in the Recipe for Success after-school program, some students have learned to cook and eat more vegetables and fruit. For some students, many of the vegetables they have cooked, they have never eaten before or even seen before. Recipe for Success has even partnered with us to judge our school's annual Chili Cook-Off and introduced the career of chef to our students during Career Day. Our students and staff have been included in Recipe for Success's wonderful contests that encourage one to think about the choices they are making concerning the nourishment of their body. The testament to their great work is when we started Recipe for Success this year, the waiting list for the membership has more than doubled our capacity level. I even talked with a disappointed parent yesterday because her student is still on the waiting list. I even have students stop by my office daily to see if a space has become available. If there is one thing I could change about Recipe for Success (and we are trying to find a way for next semester) is to have more students experience the Recipe for Success after-school program. Currently, we can only host 20 students per semester and we would love to expand that number. The skills and information that the students and staff learn are invaluable. This education inevitable spills over into the families and eventually the community as a whole. Thanks Recipe for Success for a job well done.