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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

68 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I love to see the joy in eyes of the kids as they try new foods and learn the techniques to cooking. The classes are very well organized and teach the kids the food groups, reading labels, and the reasons fast food and prepared foods are not good to eat.

They also have a community garden at the school so the kids can experience growing and eating their crop.

Board Member

Rating: 5

RFS provides a unique opportunity for disadvantaged youth to learn about gardening and cooking with hands on experience with some of the top chefs in Houston. The program is staffed with exceptional foodies who love introducing students to a healthy appreciation of growing, harvesting and preparing nutritious food. There is nothing like it in our area. It is very cool to see young kids who've turned up their noses at green vegetables to get excited about eating their own cooked broccoli. The program is so important to this population who have a steady diet of fast food. The founder is a brilliant marketer who has established a strong support base of people who are concerned about childhood obesity and the value of teaching children to live more healthy lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Each time I have the chance to see kids in action in the RFS classroom, I know that Recipe for Success is making a life changing difference in children's lives. To see their faces light up and hands raise to chop, peel, mix and stir is such an enlightening experience and makes you think about how the simple act of cooking can create such happiness. My hope is that the children take these lessons home and ask their parents to interact more with them in the kitchen and really create a family dynamic of togetherness that may not have existed before. You see reluctant kids try all kinds of fruits and veggies that some have never seen before and it is hilarious and inspiring. Recipe for Success classes not only teach children how to garden, cook and eat, but it also teaches them how to share, how to work as a team and how to use their imaginations with healthy, good food.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a Board Member and Volunteer for this amazing organization that is truly making a difference in the way children, their parents and community understand food and nutrition. By teaching basic nutrition, cooking, and gardening, this program is making a lifelong difference for people who live in communities who may not have access or understand the mental and physical benefits of good nutrition.
I love helping in the fourth grade classrooms as kids learn how to make a salad from plants they have grown in their school garden. Recipe for Success does not stop there though, as they teach kids how to use manners at the table, how to budget for food shopping, how the body needs vitamins and minerals. They have writing contests for the children. There is math, literature and science along with a happy kid with a full belly. What more can you ask for?