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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

74 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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!

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.