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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
From the website to orientation to execution the Recipe For Success organization is an asset to the Houston community.
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.
Really nice folks. They listen and are as good asking why not rather tham just why.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My child went to public elementary school and I was appalled at the food he was given. In the beginning they had real cooks and real food, but eventually those women were laid off in favor of more institutional fare that was a very poor substitute. That's when I became interested in Recipe for Success--they are a much needed organization in Houston, and they do a great job.